When Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to leave Manchester United in the summer, the club went looking for a new striker.
Marko Arnautovic was allegedly one of the men being looked at, but that never became concrete, reportedly due to fan unrest, and the Portuguese eventually stayed at Old Trafford, unable to find himself an exit route.
After his not taking part in pre-season, Erik ten Hag has been reluctant to use the 37-year-old regularly, especially when the team clearly play better without him, which has led to more discontent down the Portuguese’s end, as he was recently seen exiting the game against Tottenham early after refusing to come on.
This didn’t go down well with the Manchester United manager, who took the decision to exclude Ronaldo from the match day squad to face Chelsea; a game that ended 1-1 on Saturday evening.
What happens next remains to be seen, but it’s clear there is no real future at Old Trafford for the club icon, and talk of an exit in January is already rife.
There have been rumours about João Félix potentially coming in to replace him, as he himself is struggling for game time at Atlético Madrid, but Jeunes Footeux in France believe that, while there might be an interest in the attacking midfielder, Ten Hag would want a different profile.
They state that faced with Ronaldo’s antics and Anthony Martial’s struggles to stay fit, the Dutchman ‘has asked his bosses to sign a striker during the next transfer window’.
While Félix’s name ‘has been ticked’, Ten Hag ‘prefers a profile more striker-centric like Jonathan David (Lille), Patrik Schick (Bayer Leverkusen) and Moussa Dembélé (Lyon)’.
Those names certainly aren’t as glamorous as the Portuguese’s, but they certainly are all strikers, which is what Manchester United need right now.
With Ten Hag at the helm, there appears to be a clearer plan on the transfer market, and it appears we are now seeing the Red Devils moving away from the big names in favour of less glamorous players that actually fit the way their manager wants to play.