Ralf Rangnick believes Erik ten Hag’s rebuild at Manchester United must start with the signing of two “modern strikers”.
Rangnick is set to step down at the end of the season and the new Austria manager, who will remain at Old Trafford in an advisory role, said one of Ten Hag’s most important tasks will be finding someone to share the goal burden with Cristiano Ronaldo .
United are sixth in the Premier League and have scored 57 goals this season, 27 fewer than leaders Manchester City.
Ronaldo has scored 24 goals in 38 games in all competitions, including 18 in LaLiga.
“Cristiano is not a center forward or does not want to play in this position,” said Rangnick. “It is obvious that the club needs at least two new strikers who will bring more quality and more opportunities to this team. I wouldn’t even call it a winger.
“Two strikers and modern strikers don’t necessarily have to be wingers. If you look at international football, there are not many top teams that still play with two strikers. Most either play with three strikers or a false nine.”
Rangnick pointed to the enormous talent of title contenders Manchester City and Liverpool.
“If you look at Liverpool and Manchester City … they have five or six top-class strikers in their squad,” Rangnick said.
“Gabriel Jesus hardly played (for City) until four weeks ago. Now he’s playing regularly again. Do you look at the number of players they have and if you ask me does he play as a center forward or a winger? Is Jack Grealish a winger or a forward?
“They are all strikers and can play in different positions. They can also shift, they can rotate. We don’t have that many players like that.”