Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted his priority in the next transfer market will be to sign a striker and creative force as the Manchester United manager attempts to bolster his goal-shy attack.
United have failed to score more than once in 17 of their past 20 matches under Solskjaer and take on Arsenal tonight minus Marcus Rashford and possibly Anthony Martial because of injury.
Solskjaer wanted to recruit an attacker during the summer after offloading Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan but the players he coveted were not available and he refused to make a signing for the sake of it.
However, the United boss has left the door open to spending in January. Lyon's Moussa Dembele, 23, has been scouted and United are keeping an eye on 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho as well as Leicester City's playmaker James Maddison, 22.
"Of course, we let Alexis and Romelu go, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that it's a forward that next time we're going to recruit.
We're looking for some creativity and goals," Solskjaer said.
A move for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala collapsed in the final week of the transfer window last month and there were tentative inquiries about his team-mate Mario Mandzukic. Although Solskjaer was unwilling to compromise on targets, the departure of Lukaku in a £74 million move to Inter and Sanchez on loan to the Italian club has left United light up front.
Injuries to Rashford and Martial have put added onus on 17-year-old Mason Greenwood, who has scored two goals in three senior starts. Rashford is not certain to play again before the international break due to a groin injury.
Martial may prove his fitness to face Arsenal after five weeks out with a thigh problem.
"If the right one [had been available], if it was there, we would have [signed a forward]," Solskjaer said. "There were strikers [available], but not the ones we wanted."
United are 11th in the Premier League and only Crystal Palace of the 10 teams ahead of them have scored fewer goals. "We've done great defensively but we're not happy with the return going forward," said Solskjaer, who could have Paul Pogba fit to face Arsenal.