Ten Hag could unearth his next Huntelaar in Man United swoop for 319-goal”beast”- opinion

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It is no real secret that Manchester United are seeking a centre-forward recruit this month, with the recent exit of Cristiano Ronaldo having left Erik ten Hag somewhat light in the attacking ranks heading into the second half of the campaign.

Following what was a hefty summer spend of over £200m – and with takeover talks still looming – it looks as if United will be acting with a restricted budget in the coming weeks, hence the need to find a low-cost, short-term option before the window is out.

According to Calciomercato, the Red Devils could well be interested in turning to a familiar face in the form of ex-Manchester Citymarksman, Edin Dzeko, with the Bosnian hotshot having just six months remaining on his existing deal at San Siro.

That could well lead to an exit from the Serie A side in January, with the Old Trafford outfit seemingly eyeing up a possible move to bring the 36-year-old back to the Premier League, having previously scored 72 goals during his time at the Etihad.

Turning to the veteran asset – who has 319 club career goals to his name to date – may not appear an ideal scenario to some due to his age, although the prolific “beast“, as described by journalist Joe Lago, is still delivering the goods in Italy.

The 126-cap maestro has scored ten goals and registered four assists in 23 games in all competitions this term, having notably scored in the recent triumph over league leaders Napoli to end their opponent’s unbeaten run.

That should indicate that the ageing figure can still very much do a job at the elite level, with Ten Hag potentially able to utilise the former City man in a similar way to his use of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar during his time in charge of Ajax.

Despite being well into his 30s after returning to Amsterdam for a second spell in 2017, Huntelaar went on to play an important role for the Eredivisie outfit under Ten Hag’s tutelage, notably scoring 16 goals in 28 league appearances during the 2018/19 campaign – despite only 13 of those outings coming from the start.

Having that experienced and clinical figure off the bench was certainly a useful tool for the current United boss, with the one-time Real Madrid striker netting nine goals from just six league starts the following season, before bagging seven goals in only 11 league outings in the first half of the 2020/21 season.

Such was his impact, Ten Hag was seemingly desperate to keep his compatriot at the club even longer, only for Huntelaar to eventually opt to join German outfit Schalke in January 2021 for the final few months of his illustrious career.

The experienced coach may well have potentially wanted the aforementioned Ronaldo to take on that super-sub, part-time role at the Theatre of Dreams, although he could now find his Huntelaar 2.0 with the acquisition of Dzeko.

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