Man United would have killed off Forest earlier with Victor Osimhen

TOM COLLOMOSSE: Man United would have undoubtedly killed off Nottingham Forest earlier with £100m Victor Osimhen up front at the City Ground… signing the Napoli star would be big for Ten Hag

  • Manchester United secured a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Sunday
  • Erik ten Hag was critical of his side’s finishing at the City Ground despite the win
  • Napoli star Victor Osimhen would offer the clinical edge Ten Hag desires

Manchester United were without a number of players due to injury for their 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest but the one they really need is in southern Italy, desperately trying to get fit for Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final against AC Milan.

Napoli star Victor Osimhen looks every inch a United No9, the perfect man to go toe to toe with Erling Haaland. In his recent exclusive interview with Mail Sport Osimhen spoke of his admiration for Haaland and with the Nigerian in their line-up, United would more confident against Pep Guardiola’s men.

Osimhen would cost well in excess of £100m and Napoli are a fiendishly difficult club to negotiate with. But the 24-year-old let it slip that it was his ‘dream’ to play in the English top flight and despite their relative decline in recent years, United remain attractive. Adding Osimhen to an attacking division featuring Bruno Fernandes, Antony, Marcus Rashford and Christian Eriksen would be huge.

They should have won by more goals at Forest but with Marcus Rashford injured and Antony Martial wayward when it mattered, Steve Cooper’s relegation-threatened side were in the game until Diogo Dalot scored the second with 14 minutes left. With Osimhen, the game would have been done long before that.

Napoli star Victor Osimhen looks like he could be the perfect fit for Man United in attack

The arrival of a clinical forward would add a different dimension to Erik ten Hag’s side 

Diogo Dalot sealed the victory but Osimhen would have killed of Nottingham Forest earlier

Antony is a ‘YouTube player’, scoffed Darren Bent. ‘He can’t beat anyone’ argued Rio Ferdinand. They are not the only ones. Ever since Manchester United’s £85million signing performed a bizarre trick in a Europa League tie last October, pundits have been queueing up to take aim. ‘What a waste of money’ seemed the consensus.

There is an alternative view. The one that says any player signed by Ajax – perhaps the best developers of young talent in the world – is probably worth a second look. Especially if he is also a regular in the Brazil squad. Maybe Antony is like any other young man starting a new job in a new country. He needed time to find his feet and is now doing so.

Antony is not the finished article but on Sunday Erik ten Hag compared him with Arjen Robben, one of the best attackers in Europe during a decade with Bayern Munich. His first goal at Forest – sliding in to convert a loose ball from close range – was more significant than any trick. It showed the hunger, strength and instinct required to thrive at this level.

Do not be surprised if the 23-year-old attacker leaves a few famous names with egg on their faces.

Ten Hag compared Antony to former Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben after the win at Forest

Whether Nottingham Forest stay up or go down, the key figures must sit around a table at the end of this season and vow ‘Never again’.

Never again do we make Jesse Lingard our highest-paid player on £120,000 a week when the manager who has just led us to promotion has not specifically asked for him. Lingard’s Premier League balance sheet this season reads thus: 14 starts, zero goals, zero assists.

Never again do we sign off on a lucrative deal for a player like Jonjo Shelvey when anyone who watched Newcastle regularly knew his best days were behind him.

Never again do we create a culture where the people in control of recruitment can be hired and fired so rapidly. Ross Wilson was in the stands for the home defeat by United, following the departure of sporting director Filippo Giraldi. Giraldi arrived only last October, shortly before George Syrianos and Andy Scott were dismissed.

Forest are a brilliant club who enrich the Premier League. They have passionate owners who genuinely care, a promising manager in Steve Cooper, superb fans and Brennan Johnson, a star in the making. But next season, a little more calmness off the field would be welcome.

Jesse Lingard has failed to make a telling contribution for Forest despite his lucrative deal

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