Talks already underway: Ten Hag offered pressing machine to replace Martial at Man Utd

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It appears as though Manchester United’s attacking lineup is going to grow a little thinner. After a falling out with manager Erik ten Hag, Jadon Sancho hasn’t played since August and has been practicing separately from the first team since September. However, he is almost certain to return to Borussia Dortmund.

A few “contractual and financial issues” still need to be resolved, but once they are, United will be free to let Sancho go. Given the duration of the Englishman’s departure, it’s difficult to predict if the Red Devils will be affected right away, although another forward may leave after playing a major role.

Football Insider reports that United is prepared to let go of Anthony Martial, who has appeared in 19 games and 629 minutes this season, if the appropriate deal comes along this month. United already has possibilities for his replacement, should he become available.

United granted the chance to use Choupo-Moting

According to Football Insider, United has apparently received an offer from Bayern Munich to sign Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, and it seems that they are considering the option. This month, Ten Hag’s side has already held “preliminary talks” regarding a potential contract, though it’s important to note that nothing has yet reached a “advanced” stage.

Eric, Maxim Choupo, Moting (Bayern)
Sancho’s departure is expected to free up some money that Ten Hag would not have otherwise been able to spend on strengthening his team. Another player that was approached by United is Timo Werner, but according to Florian Plettenberg of Sky Germany on Saturday morning, he is now anticipated to sign with Tottenham, a rival team in the league.

Choupo-Moting might energise United’s media

United can be pardoned for their initial lacklustre reaction to their connections with Choupo-Moting. He only scored five goals in thirty Premier League games during his previous spell with Stoke City, and he only scored nine goals in 51 games while he was at Paris Saint-Germain.

At Bayern, he had a superior strike rate of 38 out of 107. Although he has only scored twice in 19 games this season, he had a fantastic 2022–2023 season, hitting 17 of 30. It’s not by accident, either, that he started more than eight Bundesliga games for the team for the first time—14 in this case. Naturally, his output rose with more involvement.

Yet it was understandable why many would have doubts about his ability to resolve United’s grave goalscoring problems. Although Ten Hag’s team has a decent defensive record—they’ve given up as many goals (27) as second-place Aston Villa and fewer than Champions League-chasing Spurs (30)—they’ve only scored 22 goals in their 20 games, which is why they’re middling in the middle of the league. That is less than Luton, who are in 18th place and still have a game to play.

First Premier League Trophy
An outstanding work rate out of possession is something that Choupo-Moting will undoubtedly provide. In comparison to positional peers over the last year, he ranks in the 85th percentile or above for tackles (1.16), tackles won (0.78), and tackles in the middle third (0.54) per 90 minutes (FBref). This demonstrates that he’s a dedicated and capable presser—exactly the kind of player Ten Hag needs. According to The Analyst, United has been an average pressing team this season, ranking ninth in terms of opponent passes per defensive action (12.3).

There will be a need for other forwards to step up even if United signs Choupo-Moting or someone else. Only nine goals have been scored by Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford combined, and Antony has not scored at all.

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