Man Utd throwing things back to 2004 as Erik ten Hag picks two summer signings
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reviews Bournemouth game
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag intends on recruiting two strikers in this summer’s transfer window, reports recently claimed. Harry Kane is being eyed as the club’s marquee addition, while Atalanta youngster Rasus Hojlund is also in their sights. And, should a doubled deal take place, then the Red Devils would be signing two strikers in a single transfer window for the first time since 2004.
The Times stated earlier in the week that United were keen on bringing in both Kane and Hojlund as they look to challenge rivals Manchester City for the Premier League title.
Ten Hag apparently sees Kane as the ideal player to lead his line, with the England international shining despite yet another problematic season at Tottenham.
And Hojlund is under consideration, too, with the Red Devils hoping to land one of Europe’s most-promising young strikers as well.
Signing both players would be a big statement of intent.
United are clearly crying out for at least one new No 9, with the likes of Anthony Martial and Wout Weghorst too inconsistent.
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And there’s a sense that, once the Red Devils bolster their attack, they’ll be on a path to bigger and better things.
Should a double deal materialise, it would also see United sign two centre-forwards in a single summer for the first time since 2004.
That year, Sir Alex Ferguson was aware he needed more firepower to dethrone Arsenal as Premier League champions.
So he turned to Alan Smith, with the forward arriving on a free transfer from Leeds following their agonising relegation.
Smith angered fans of his old side by crossing the divide and swapping white for red.
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Yet he made a positive impression straight away at Old Trafford, scoring 10 goals from 42 appearances.
Smith’s career would never be the same after a serious injury against Liverpool in 2006 that left him sidelined for seven months.
But he still can hold his head up high, having won the Premier League title in 2007.
Speaking last year, Smith revealed he was still suffering over 17 years on. He said: “I couldn’t compete at a level I felt I could easily before. I get out of bed and can’t walk properly, my ankle is stiff all the time.
“I went for a run in the summer and managed to do a couple of miles but stopped and started walking because my ankle was hurting.
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“I went back last month and the surgeon said, ‘I don’t want you doing any straight-line running’, just because it will damage the joint.
“It is always difficult to walk away but when you see someone and they don’t want you running, you know it is the right decision.
“I have no regrets. For me, I see retiring early being the easy option.”
Not content with signing Smith, however, Ferguson also brought Wayne Rooney to the club.
The striker, who is now regarded as a Red Devils legend, was hot property in 2004 after shining for England at the European Championships.
And he moved to United in a £30million deal.
Rooney would become a hero during his time at Old Trafford, helping the club win five Premier League titles as well as the Champions League under Ferguson.
And he also stayed to play under bosses such as David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho as well.
Rooney left United in 2017 after propelling them to an EFL Cup and Europa League double that year.
He’s got dreams of managing the club but, for now, is currently in the MLS with DC United.
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