Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes Manchester United have made some “embarrassing” decisions when it comes to striker transfers.
Former Premier League striker Hasselbaink, who played for Leeds, Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Charlton, scored more than 100 goals in the English top flight.
Hence, he knows all about the importance of clubs having a star striker, having been one himself throughout his career. But he has criticised the way Man Utd have gone about their business in that department.
Hasselbaink believes United do not have a good enough number nine, and blasted the club for their decision to sell Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan without replacing him last summer.
“Man Utd have made big, big mistakes,” he told Ladbrokes (as quoted by Caught Offside). “Look at their striker situation. They let Romelu Lukaku go – he’s playing brilliantly for Inter Milan and Belgium at the moment – why isn’t he doing that for United?
“OK, you don’t fancy him. But the rule – and every manager knows this – is that you cannot let a striker go if you don’t have another striker replacing him. If you don’t have another striker on your books – even if you don’t fancy the striker you have but you know he’s going to get you 15 goals a year – you keep the one you do have until you can bring a replacement in.
“United have dealt with that situation so badly. They haven’t been able to replace him, but they’ve let him go. How can you do that?
“I don’t know if Solskjaer has made that call, or whoever, but when you make it, you need to have a replacement ready.”
Hasselbaink picks apart United’s current forwards
United chose to stick with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford as their main forwards for the 2019-20 season. Despite both doing well, it was evident they needed more depth, and therefore completed the surprise signing of Odion Ighalo from Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in January 2020.
They then chose to extend Ighalo’s loan until January 2021, but also brought in another striker – signing Edinson Cavani from PSG as a free agent.
However, Hasselbaink thinks the decisions United have made in that area have been “embarrassing”.
He continued: “Marcus Rashford is not an out-and-out striker. Anthony Martial is not a striker; he’s a wide player. He wants to play as a striker but he’s not going to get you 20-25 goals a season.
“Then they go and get someone from China to come and sit on the bench. That is embarrassing for Manchester United. Nothing against Odion Ighalo, but Man Utd shouldn’t have to bring players out of China.
“Then they have to get an old player – who is still fit – in Edinson Cavani who has to come in and do the business. You never used to see that kind of thing happen at United.”
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