The former Red Devils coach believes missing out on Jadon Sancho will benefit Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, but feels they need a goalscorer
Manchester United needed to be snapping up a “proper No.9 like Erling Haaland” over the summer not 33-year-old free agent Edinson Cavani, former Red Devils coach Rene Meulensteen has warned.
The Old Trafford side spent much of the last transfer window chasing down attacking talent.
Jadon Sancho was identified as a top target but the England international winger remains on the books at Borussia Dortmund.
The acquisition of another proven goalscorer was also prioritised by those at the club, with questions continuing to be asked of Anthony Martial’s ability to lead the line.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s efforts down that avenue carried over into deadline day, with Cavani eventually snapped up in a deal that required no fee.
The experienced Uruguayan boasts an impressive track record, with prolific strike rates recorded at the likes of Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain, but Meulensteen is among those who feel that a more long-term option should have been secured.
He has said in a column for Manchester United Supporters Club Scandinavia: “United need a real striker, a proper No.9, one like Erling Haaland.
“Just look at Bayern Munich about how important a striker is for them. Ask Tottenham or Leicester what a striker means.
“For me, it is strange that a striker has not been the main goal for United.
“Marcus Rashford can play striker, but he is not a typical striker. Anthony Martial can provide goals, but he is no goal scorer.
“Now Edinson Cavani has signed but I don’t think Manchester United should look for a 33-year-old on the last day of the transfer window.
“Cavani has an impressive scoring record but he knows nothing about Premier League. I really hope he adapts fast and gets started.
“It’s hard to understand how United end up in the position that they have to hurry around for players on deadline day.”
While being unsure on the value that Cavani can offer, Meulensteen believes United will benefit from having missed out on Sancho as the development of talented teenage forward Mason Greenwood will no longer be stunted by added competition for places.
The Dutchman added: “Every day in the transfer window there were rumours about Jadon Sancho.
“Now the transfer did not happen anyway but my opinion is that Sancho is not what United first and foremost need. Spending so much money on such a player raises many questions.
“And one of them is what role should Mason Greenwood have played?
“Another thing with this transfer saga is that if Dortmund had been ready to sell him, then they would have sold him earlier in the summer so they had time to sign a replacement.
“As time went by before the deadline, it seemed unlikely to me that it would happen.
“Dortmund have been very steadfast all the way, but my honest opinion is that Sancho is not worth £100 million.”