Andy Cole urges Manchester United to sign Victor Osimhen next summer and gives verdict on Marcus Rashford’s form
Andy Cole has urged Manchester United to sign Napoli striker Victor Osimhen next summer and delivered his verdict on Marcus Rashford’s sensational form at Old Trafford.
United signed Netherlands international Wout Weghorst last week after releasing Cristiano Ronaldo during the World Cup.
Cole was ‘a bit surprised’ by the Manchester United transfer and believes his former club will have to look elsewhere for Ronaldo’s ‘long-term’ replacement.
The Old Trafford legend believes Osimhen could be ideal for Erik ten Hag’s side, with the Nigerian star scoring 41 goals in 80 appearances for Napoli, including 13 in 18 games this season.
Osimhen’s form has also attracted interest from Premier League leaders Arsenal and high-flying Newcastle United but Cole hopes Manchester United wins the race to secure his signature.
‘I think like everybody else, I was a bit surprised,’ Cole said of Weghorst’s arrival in an interview with Betway.
‘He had a very good World Cup, scoring a couple of goals against Argentina, and he’s done well at Besiktas, but it’s come from nowhere.
‘I think the interesting thing is what the manager is looking for because Weghorst is 6’6, which is different to the usual profile of United strikers.
‘If you think back to Ruud van Nistelrooy, myself, we were off-the-shoulder strikers. Martial has been the same more recently.
‘It’s interesting that they’ve brought in somebody like this now because I’d thought he’d want a different profile in the summer.
‘You want to be getting crosses into Weghorst, rather than getting him away in behind.
‘I think Victor Osimhen at Napoli is very good and could be the long-term natural fit. The question is whether Napoli would be prepared to let him go.
‘He’s rangy, got a good first touch, scores goals and is a decent size as well. I watched him play against Liverpool and he was more than prepared to link the play and then run in behind.’
Cole won five Premier League titles at Manchester United and has been pleased with the club’s recent revival under Ten Hag.
The Red Devils had won nine matches in a row before Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace to climb to third in the Premier League, level on points with Manchester City and eight behind Arsenal.
Rashford has been one of Manchester United’s best players under Ten Hag, scoring 19 goals this season, with eight of them coming from his last eight appearances.
Asked what has changed for Rashford, who struggled last season, Cole added: ‘Confidence. The more goals you score, the better you become.
‘Obviously whatever he did in pre-season is benefitting him now. The manager sat him down, gave him some belief and is getting his rewards.
‘Football is all about confidence. People can say it’s about anything else but if you’re not sure about yourself and your ability you can’t perform.
‘Last season, everyone was talking about why he’s not developing into the player we thought he could be. Suddenly now, I’m seeing comparisons to Thierry Henry. The only thing that can change so quickly is how you’re feeling about your game.
‘I can relate to that as a forward. When you’re short on confidence, you don’t go looking for chances. For me, watching Marcus before this season, he never ran into the box. He was never there to finish a tap-in from a cutback.
‘Suddenly, against Man City on Saturday, he’s there, six yards out, to score the winner. I think last season he might not have made that run because he was too worried about missing.
‘I guarantee if he does that in every game, he’ll always score. Those cutbacks are always there.’
After being held to a draw by Patrick Vieira’s Palace, Manchester United will look to return to winning ways on Sunday when they visit Premier League leaders Arsenal.
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