Friday 15 December 2017

'He would have 20 goals' - Jose Mourinho wishes Louis van Gaal had held onto one Man United striker

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA

Jose Mourinho has bemoaned the shortage of natural goalscoring "killers" in Manchester United's squad and admitted for the first time that he is in the market for a new striker after again criticising the club's sale of Javier Hernandez, WRITES JAMES DUCKER.

The United manager absolved leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic of any blame, stressed his faith in Marcus Rashford and insisted Paul Pogba's travails in front of goal were "not a problem of quality at all but a problem of luck" given the frequency with which the midfielder has hit the woodwork this term.

But Mourinho claimed there were players without a natural feel for scoring, a reference to the likes of Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard's profligacy, and believes Hernandez would have scored 20 goals for the team this season.

Hernandez was sold to Bayer Leverkusen by Louis van Gaal, Mourinho's predecessor as United manager, in August 2015, since when he has scored 38 goals in 72 appearances for the German club.

"We have some players that are not really players in love with the goal," he said.

"They are good players, they are creative players, they can create but, naturally, they are not the kind of guy that is a killer.

"I give a simple example. In the way we play at Old Trafford, in the way we dominate opponents, in the way we play in the box, Chicharito [Hernandez] would have 20 goals easy.

"Even coming from the bench for the last 10 or 20 minutes, he would have 20 goals. He is the guy that, naturally, the ball comes here, rebounds here, rebounds there - boom, goal.

"The goalkeeper saves, he goes there - boom, goal. The cross is coming, he anticipates the first post header, goal.

"We don't score enough goals for the way we play and the teams that come to Old Trafford know that."

Mourinho also defended Manchester United's decision to hand Jesse Lingard a new four-year contract, believed to be worth £100,000-a-week.

"He is English, made in the academy," Mourinho told a news conference.

"These players are very important for clubs.

"It is a very important contract and I congratulate him and the board to agree with him and give stability to me.

"Important for me to know he is not in danger [of going elsewhere]. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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