ATTACKING WOES: UNLEASHING ACADEMY TALENT JOE HUGILL TO REVITALIZE MANCHESTER UNITED
Manchester United’s lackluster attack has contributed to their disappointing start in the current Premier League campaign.
Despite having notable players like Rasmus Hojlund, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, and Antony, the team has managed just four combined league goals, resulting in a challenging sixth-place position for the club.
With upcoming fixtures against formidable opponents like Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Newcastle United, the pressure is mounting on manager Erik ten Hag to address the offensive struggles.
While Hojlund’s performance is crucial, the underperformance of Anthony Martial, who has scored only once in an EFL Cup tie against Crystal Palace, is a cause for concern.
Anthony Martial’s lackluster season statistics include ranking 20th for successful dribbles per game (0.1) and 14th for shots per game (0.4) in the Premier League, highlighting the need for a change.
Could Ten Hag turn to the promising talent in the academy to rejuvenate the attack? Joe Hugill, a standout performer in Premier League 2, has consistently demonstrated his clinical finishing ability and goal-scoring prowess.
Hugill’s impressive youth statistics feature an outstanding 54 goals in 98 appearances, earning praise for his natural finishing and confidence in front of goal.
Journalist Josh Bunting lauded him as “such a clinical young player” back in 2020.
The 20-year-old striker has already notched seven goals in 11 matches this season, outscoring every senior United player.
His performance in the EFL Trophy against senior opposition showcased his ability to score, create chances, and take shots on goal, indicating a readiness for first-team opportunities.
Considering the opportunities given to other academy talents like Alejandro Garnacho and Facundo Pellistri, there appears to be a pathway to the first team under Ten Hag for young, promising players.
For Hugill, maintaining consistency in goal-scoring for the U21 side could pave the way for a potential breakthrough this season, providing Ten Hag with a compelling alternative to Anthony Martial.