United need a striker. Obviously. Erik ten Hag was already perilously low on firepower before Cristiano Ronaldo forced through his desired departure and now he has been left with only Marcus Rashford – better on the flanks – and the perenially-injured Anthony Martial to choose from.
The lack of choice hasn&apost had an adverse effect just yet. Ronaldo&aposs last appearance for the club came in their last defeat, the 3-1 loss to Aston Villa. Since then United have scored 18 goals in seven games. In the 15 games prior, only 20 goals were scored. So there has been an obvious upturn already but more firepower is certainly needed if United are to compete and succeed on four different fronts.
Additionally, only the revived Rashford is scoring consistently. His 13 goals are more than double the next-highest scorer. Reinforcements are required in January yet United have allowed feasible options like Gakpo and now Felix pass them by.
United had tracked Gakpo for some time and considered him as an Antony alternative in the summer. But the Brazilian was signed and Liverpool swooped in to enhance their own arsenal in a 35million transfer. In the case of Felix, the Portuguese star is set to leave Atletico Madrid on loan as inconsistent performances have seen him fall out of favour with Diego Simeone.
United have been heavily linked with the 23-year-old since he was bursting onto the scene at Benfica but it appears Chelsea have won the race to sign him, beating out stiff competition from Arsenal. It may well be disappointing for supporters to see United lose out or not even try for more exciting names and instead target Wout Weghorst, but in each case they have made the right decision.
Gakpo looks to be very talented and have a decent eye for goal but he is primarily a right-footed left-winger which is the one position United absolutely don&apost need any more players in. Felix is even better and has shown moments of absurd skill and class despite being shackled by an agricultural Atletico team which doesn&apost suit him at all.
But he isn&apost a reliable goal scorer with just 34 in 131 appearances in Madrid, just five this season, and it&aposs hardly surprising given he too isn&apost a natural striker. Felix much prefers to play in the spaces between midfield and attack or drift out wide to get on the ball and create. Bruno Fernandes has that role on lock at Old Trafford.
It is reported Chelsea are paying over 9.5m just to take Felix for a few months. That&aposs a sizeable fee when United are only in the market at all because they have been left with little choice by Ronaldo.
Felix clearly has unworldly talent but the limbo he has been left in over recent years at Atletico, a club that never suited a player of his style, looks to have zapped his confidence somewhat. He could very well find it again at Stamford Bridge, but Chelsea have nothing to lose given their current predicament. United, meanwhile, are in a tense race for the top four and can&apost afford to give a player time to settle into a system and get back to his best.
Felix can play as the main striker but when he does he tends to drop deep to find the ball. United need a striker to lead the line so it&aposs also difficult to see where Felix, who would demand to start most matches, would immediately fit into the system Ten Hag is making.
He isn&apost nearly as an exciting name and is nowhere near as good a player, but Weghorst has proven he can make a seismic impact with limited time, he is a proper striker that United needs, would be happy to play a supporting role from the bench, is a strong personality not lacking in any confidence and is in better scoring form.
Most importantly, Ten Hag wants Weghorst but not Felix. The manager has earned the trust and backing in every decision he makes.
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