Amid the lawsuits and counterclaims from Ralf Rangnick and Anthony Martial over his alleged refusal to sit on the bench for United, neither the manager nor the player are doing particularly well.

It looks pretty certain Martial won’t play for United again whether he likes it or not.

From a fan perspective, it’s time to mourn Martial’s United career as it draws to a close. He has failed to develop into the player we were all hoping for and it’s best that he carries on and tries to re-establish himself elsewhere and secure a place with France at the 2022 World Cup.

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Time to look ahead

Manchester United need a new striker this summer. This was already on the rise as Edinson Cavani’s contract expired. Martial’s departure will highlight a forthcoming lack of depth in attack and will also free the club’s number nine shirt.

That leaves Cristiano Ronaldo, who turns 37, and might not want to hang around and waste his Europa League time. Fair enough if so.

Then there’s Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, who have only scored once in their last 22 games together. Anthony Elanga is showing promise but he’s not the number nine United need.

Charlie McNeill is a promising talent at the academy, again he’s not ready. United need to spend money to buy a new striker.

Get it right this time

Manchester United need to learn from past mistakes and that means looking back to 2019 when Romelu Lukaku was sold. Getting rid of the Belgian was the right decision. When it came to replacing him, things went wrong.

United chose not to spend to put their trust in Martial. That went well for a season, but he couldn’t keep it up.

Cost-cutting decisions were made to support the attack, with Odion Ighalo loaned out and Edinson Cavani signed on a free transfer.

Even the move to sign Ronaldo was another short-term move, a band-aid solution. How about United getting it right this time?

The next generation of strikers

United have to make a decision on who to target in order to look for a young striker who has the ability to lead the line for the next five to 10 years.

In terms of talent alone, Erling Haaland should be the first choice. Jadon Sancho’s former team-mate has scored 78 goals in 77 games for Dortmund and is an absolute powerhouse.

Matters are complicated by Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola, and just as urgent, United are in serious danger of missing out on Champions League football next season.

(Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It is therefore prudent to look for alternatives and the next best option is Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic, who has scored 19 goals in 23 games this season. The Mail report United tracked him down.

Another option to consider is Napoli striker Victor Osimhen. The 23-year-old has scored nine times in 14 games this season and is a deadly finisher in the box.

Alternatively, head to Lille and see Jonathan David. The Canadian striker is just 22 and has already scored 16 goals this season, including three in the Champions League.

Or take the risk and try to sign Argentina striker Julian Alvarez. The youngster finished last season as River Plate’s top scorer with 24 goals in all competitions.

Any one of those five forwards would make United a more exciting team for next season and breathe some much-needed life into the attack.

Of course, there are also options in midfield that need to be resolved, but Martial’s spat with Rangnick underscores the need to strengthen the forward position. Let’s find a new number 9 that really wants to be here.

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