Manchester United might be denied a glimpse of next summer’s transfer target – Steven Railston

The traditional centre-forward, someone like Erling Haaland, who is prolific in the opposition&aposs box, excellent in hold-up play, and dangerous with their back against goal, is now en vogue after false nines and versatile forwards became normal.

Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen were the most desirable strikers on the market this summer, but both were eventually considered not attainable at Old Trafford and Rasmus Hojlund was signed from Atalanta in a deal worth 72million.

Hojlund is a perfect example of the renaissance of the traditional centre-forward brand. The youngster is powerful and physically imposing and you don&apost get the impression he&aposs going to have a tendency to drift into wide areas on the pitch.

He played just over 20 minutes against Arsenal at the Emirates before the international break, but he made more of an impact in that appearance than Anthony Martial and he must start against Brighton, provided he&aposs deemed fit enough.

Arsenal defenders William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes looked visibly uncomfortable when Hojlund was brought on in that game and his link-up play immediately improved the team and gave hope of securing the three points.

It will be fascinating to see whether he starts against Brighton and his potential clash against Evan Ferguson, who is another powerful, throwback striker to yesteryear, is something Manchester United fans will be particularly interested in.

When Ferguson was asked for his football idol growing up earlier this year, he said: “I think I wouldve said Wayne Rooney. I used to watch him and I used to support United as a kid. I thought he was just unbelievable.”

It didn&apost take long for those quotes from the BBC to go viral on social media and send fans of a red persuasion into meltdown. Some quickly said a summer bid should be launched and others created mock images of him playing for United.

Brighton, who seem to have an endless conveyor belt of talent, were never going to sell Ferguson this summer and their shrewd chairman Tony Bloom has already ruled out a January departure for the 18-year-old.

The South Coast club seem to impressively sell their stars for mouthwatering profits before merely replacing them with equally as talented players for pennies and Ferguson already feels bound to be the next big export.

Ferguson has four goals in four league games for Brighton this season after his outstanding hat-trick against Newcastle and his overall senior record makes for pleasant reading: 14 goals and four assists in 33 games.

That&aposs an excellent return for a striker at such an early stage of his development and Irish fans have understandably scoffed this week at suggestions Ferguson could defect to represent England, who he was once eligible for.

The Irish have made it clear Ferguson is their own and that is reciprocated by the player, without mentioning that, more importantly, he can&apost actually play for the Three Lions after already making three competitive international appearances.

Regardless of who he&aposs representing, it&aposs an obvious compliment to Ferguson that fans were eager to find out whether he could switch his allegiances and Gareth Southgate recently described him as a &aposbloody good player&apos.

It seems like dangerous territory to agree with Southgate at the moment but Erik ten Hag shares that assessment of Ferguson. There is interest in the youngster from Old Trafford and it&aposs possible a move could be made for him next summer.

Hojlund will be the only striker at the club next year. Marcus Rashford is not as effective down the middle and Anthony Martial&aposs contract expires at the end of this season, so another player in that position will be needed.

Ferguson might be valued out of the price range and it might not work to have two similar, traditional strikers at the club, but if he keeps on scoring throughout this campaign, it seems inevitable he&aposll continue to be linked to United.