Udinese striker Luis Muriel has been linked with a move to Manchester United should Wayne Rooney’s wish to depart Old Trafford come true, but given the level of competition in the position he may wish to think twice before seeing his game-time take a substantial hit.
The Colombian – whose playing style has earned comparisons with Ronaldo – shone in Serie A last term, sharing the young player of the season award with Stephan El Shaarawy of AC Milan as he notched 11 goals across 15 league starts and seven substitute appearances.
If Rooney does indeed leave the club – and Chelsea are 7/10 favourites to be the club he plays for on the 4th of September – Muriel would still find himself in competition with Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez and Danny Wellbeck for a starting place.
Having four leading strikers had become a sainted part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s modus operandi during his time at United – who are 11/5 to repeat their 2012/13 Premier League title win – but in an era when a single line leader is the rule rather than the exception, having so many strikers is at best a luxury and at worse a team spirit time bomb.
After all, the prevalence of single centre-forward formations has led to Rooney being shunted around the attacking positions and ultimately made to feel far from as important as the man who has contributed at least 16 goals a season for the last nine campaigns should.
United used a single central striker in 32 of their 38 league games under Ferguson last term, whilst Moyes’ Everton were set up with a loan central forward in 33 of their top flight fixtures.
The Scot alternated Nikica Jelavic and Victor Anichebe as his centre forward at Goodison Park, with Apostolos Vellios – the only other similar player in his squad limited to just six league substitute appearances.
As such, despite the European commitments demanding he will need slightly more fire power at United, replacing Rooney with another big-money centre forward option makes little sense.
The remaining attacking trio – along with Chilean youngster Angelo Henriques – should arguably offer more than enough options in the centre for United this season.