Michael Owen believes Manchester United must change their policy of signing “stop-gaps” and land a striker that can be the No 9 for years to come.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been looking for a striker for much of his time in the Old Trafford dugout, but has been left frustrated following a number of near misses.
In the summer, Solskjaer settled on former PSG forward Edinson Cavani, with the 33-year-old available on a free transfer.
The Uruguayan has impressed in his opening months with the club, but Owen believes he is just the latest in a long line of short-term fixes.
“If you look at the recent past of Manchester United, they have been buying a lot of players that have been coming to the twilight of their career,” Owen told Stadium Astro. “When you look at Cavani, before that Ibrahimovic, before that Van Persie, Henrik Larsson.
“They have gone for players right at the end of their career. The last one they bought early on in their career is Wayne Rooney. At least then you have got a player that is going to last you for 10 years.
“At the moment, Manchester United have struggled to find that young player that is going to take them all the way as a No 9.”
Asked who could replicate Wayne Rooney’s longevity at United, Owen pointed to Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland.
Solskjaer tried to sign the 20-year-old in 2019, before he ultimately opted to join the German giants.
But Owen believes that signing the Norwegian could set his old team up for success for years to come.
He added: “I think the one player out there that springs to mind, a player that could be in their team for 10 years and stop them having to buy stop-gaps all the time, is Haaland at Dortmund. He is the player on everybody’s lips at the moment.”
Meanwhile, fellow ex-Red Devil Dimitar Berbatov has pleaded for Mason Greenwood to be given more opportunities to prove he can be the long-term answer.
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Greenwood burst onto the scene last year, but has rarely been given the chance to play in his preferred position through the middle.
“Honestly, I would like to see Mason Greenwood develop and become better and better,” Berbatov said. “I am a big admirer of him, he is still very young, he is still learning from his mistakes on and off the pitch.
“I would like to see more chances given to him, to show how good he is.”
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