Since then, Odion Ighalo, Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo have all come and gone, with United still overly dependant on two forwards that have often played their best football on the left.
“We need more goalscorers, more goals, someone who wants to break their nose or toe to score,” Solskjaer said of his striker search back in 2020. “It doesn&apost always have to be nice goals. I need to challenge them more.”
Read next: United target Weghorst signing
Erik ten Hag is looking for exactly the same thing this month as he looks to add an extra dimension to a United frontline that is still not scoring enough goals.
United had initially looked to add another attacker to their squad this window, not necessarily a natural centre-forward, but plans have been adapted after recent struggles in front of goal.
Ten Hag, on the other hand, has identified the need for a more physical option up front, as well as a player who can offer them something unique by serving as a focal point for their immense creativity. The search has led United to the unlikely addition of Wout Weghorst, with talks advancing over a potential loan move for the Burnley who is on loan at Besiktas.
Weghorst is aligned with Ten Hag&aposs transfer strategy of favouring players familiar to him or schooled in the Netherlands, with the duo having both hailed from the Twente region.
The 30-year-old has scored eight goals in 16 games for Besiktas this season and scored both goals for his country in their World Cup quarter-final clash against Argentina, plus a penalty in the shootout. It was that display on the biggest stage of them all that sent another timely reminder that for all the quality a team can have, a game plan can be torn apart when faced with a dominating forward who wins everything in the air.
Despite the impressive return, Weghorst is still remembered by most for his transfer to Burnley a year ago. The Dutch forward joined for 12million in January 2022, but he only scored two goals in 20 games as the Clarets were relegated after six years in the Premier League.
Arguably his best performance actually came against United at Turf Moor, where the forward tormented Harry Maguire and set-up Jay Rodriguez for the Burnley goal in a 1-1 draw. It is for that exact physicality that Ten Hag is so keen on signing him this month, with United lacking a forward who plays between the goalposts and offers a threat at the end of crosses.
There have been countless times this season when United have played terrific balls into the box, but not had anybody on the end of them to turn them into goals. Even on the occasions that crosses have been met in the box, they have often been wasted, whether that be from the misfiring Martial or Ronaldo&aposs profligacy in the penalty area.
By adding a player like Weghorst to their attacking line, United will not only have a greater aerial threat when they send balls into the box, but they will also benefit from his hold-up play that will allow other players to link-up and push further forward. It also means that they will have another string to their bow with regard to running down the clock late in matches, something that Ighalo and Cavani both helped with during their time at the club.
And that is the company to which Weghorst should be compared if he is to join United in the coming weeks. There is no ignoring the fact that he is not the elite option that United need if they are to compete toe-to-toe with the top sides in the Premier League, but as a short-term solution, he certainly adds value.
The key for United is to be in a position to sign a top-class striker like Victor Osimhen or Harry Kane at the end of the season, and their best chance of doing so depends on them qualifying for the Champions League.