Man Utd have a ready made No.9 amid Anthony Martial "con" claims

After spending almost the entirety of the summer transfer window chasing a wide-forward, most at Manchester United wouldn't have been predicting a shortage of central strikers just four games into the Premier League season.

But after failing to land top target Jadon Sancho, United turned to former PSG marksman Edinson Cavani in a deadline day transfer that has divided opinion.

"Five, six years ago, yeah he’s a great signing, he’ll take us onto that next level possibly. But I just don’t think he’ll take us to the next level now," Red Devils legend Paul Scholes said earlier this week.

Cavani will miss the trip to Newcastle United, as he continues his self-isolation following the move from France. That, twinned with Anthony Martial's three-match ban for his red-card during the Tottenham debacle, means Solskjaer will be forced into a reshuffle.

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As well as criticising Cavani, Scholes suggested that none of the forwards at the club represent a true No.9, despite Martial's relative success last season.

“These forwards are exceptionally talented lads. We all know that,” he told Stadium Astro. “The problem with United’s forwards is that none of them is an actual centre-forward.

‘”Martial almost conned us into thinking he was one at the end of last season because he scored so many goals and was quite good. ‘He’s started this season quite poorly again, which makes you think he isn’t. It’s misleading.

“That’s why I’ve kept saying we need a top-class No. 9.”

The clash against the Magpies represents a chance for one of Marcus Rashford or Mason Greenwood to prove those sentiments wrong, with the latter expected to lead the line in the North East.

Since breaking into the senior side last season, Greenwood has been forced to play as a right-winger, and has done so to devastating effect.

But many, including Solskjaer himself, believes his future lies in the centre of the attack.

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“I think he will end up as a number nine. But for him to be a number nine, he needs to learn how to head a ball," he said earlier this year.

“I keep telling him that. If he wants to do that he is welcome to come and practise with me.”

United striking legend Andy Cole also believes the 19-year-old will eventually be handed the chance through the middle – and will grab it.

He told talkSPORT: “I think the age he is at and the way Manchester United play, it’s very reminiscent of the way Sir Alex Ferguson first used Ryan Giggs when he broke into the United first-team.

Do you think Mason Greenwood is ready to lead the Man Utd line? Have your say here

“Naturally, he will grow into it and improve and he could become Manchester United’s No.9 as of next season or the season after that, only God knows.

“But if he keeps improving and doing what he is doing, he will get there in the end.”

His brilliant performances on the right have earned him a place in the XI, but since his breakthrough, it has felt inevitable he will eventually switch, and shine in the middle. That could all start this weekend.

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