Striker Shopping: Manchester United's January Options

Felix TangCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2007

The January transfer window is the best opportunity for EPL managers to dump surplus players and fill key roster needs.

Manchester United have done well in the Premiership thus far, and are one point back of league-leading Arsenal. However, with the retirement of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Red Devils are down to three first-team strikers—Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha, and Carlos Tevez.

Chinese youngster Dong Fangzhuo has underachieved this season, and can only be considered a fringe player.

Yes, United can still use Anderson, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ryan Giggs as support strikers.  But at the end of the day, three natural strikers—no matter how good they are—simply aren't enough for a 38-game campaign.

What that means, of course, is that Alex Ferguson should be in buying mode come January. As I see it, he has at least three options...


Dimitar Berbatov - Tottenham Hotspur

United tried to land Berbatov over the summer. He's definitely proven himself since his coming to Tottenham Hotspur from Bayer Leverkusen two-and-a-half seasons ago—he can score goals, has great touch, and would be a welcome addition at Old Trafford.


IconNicolas Anelka - Bolton Wanderers

The French international would be a more likely pickup than the high-priced Berbatov.

Anelka may not be as technically sound as Berbatov, but he'd still provide United with another attacking option. His height makes him particularly appealing.


Michael Owen - Newcastle United

Owen is certainly an option for Fergie. The 28-year old Newcastle forward has been linked to United for quite a while.

Owen's pace and shooting skills are undisputed, but his lengthy injury history is a cause for concern.


If anything's clear, then, it's that the options are on the table. How Ferguson plays his cards—and how it impacts United's title hopes—remains to be seen.