After Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League, Paul Scholes was reporting for BT Sport when he claimed that United are suffering from their summer transfer activity.
United’s transfer activity was remarkably erratic with regards to striking options this summer. United boss Louis Van Gaal decided to sell Robin Van Persie, Javier Hernandez and Angelo Henriquez. He also declined the opportunity to sign Radamel Falcao on a permanent loan-deal after the Colombian failed to impress at Old Trafford.
Notably, Van Gaal also sold Angel Di Maria to Paris St Germain for £44 million which pointed all of the media speculation towards who United were possibly going to sign after offloading the majority of their attacking options. Van Gaal responded by unveiling 19-year-old teenager Anthony Martial for an astounding £36 million.
Scholes told BT Sport: “They’ve let three or four strikers go. Now, I think if we had kept one of them, kept a Van Persie or Hernandez then it looks quite strong.
“Van Gaal said last summer the squad was unbalanced. I think it’s more unbalanced now.
“They can score goals, Van Persie and Hernandez can score goals. Martial could be a real threat coming off the bench. I just think that’s a mistake.”
Scholes statement resonates with the vast majority of pundits and supporters who have analysed United this season. United’s attacking misery has been compounded recently by the absence of Wayne Rooney after he suffered a hamstring injury in training, which forced him to miss the recent Liverpool and PSV fixtures.
Van Gaal selected Marouane Fellaini to play as a lone striker against Liverpool and the Belgian failed to cause problems for any of Liverpool’s defenders. According to Squawka, Fellaini won zero aerial duels in the entire game. He also managed just two shots, with one being blocked and the other sailing over the crossbar.
Martial grabbed all of the headlines against Liverpool with a dream debut goal. Although his full debut against PSV Eindhoven failed to continue his explosion of media hype and expectation to succeed Thierry Henry. The Frenchman’s statistics were lack-lustre in comparison to any striker for a club with the prestige of United. He only managed to render two shots within a full 90 minutes.
Van Gaal should also heed the from the history of Sir Alex Ferguson, who won 13 Premier League titles after consistently having four strikers to select in his United squad. Once upon a time at United, Dimitar Berbatov, Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo were potential partners for Rooney. This season, Martial, Rooney and James Wilson will have to perform a miracle for United to win any silverware.