Manchester United urged to sign young striker who ‘can do everything’

Patrice Evra provides his opinion in Erik ten Hag appointment

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Manchester United have been told they would be making a “very clever” signing if they bought Reims striker Hugo Ekitike. The French forward has scored nine goals in 21 Ligue 1 games this season, as he attracts interest from Premier League clubs this summer.

The 19-year-old has made a breakthrough season this year despite suffering an injury in the second half of the season and was heavily linked to Newcastle United in January. French journalist Julien Laurens, speaking on his ESPN podcast The Gab and Juls show, suggested that Ekitike would be a smart move for a host of Premier League clubs this summer, including the Red Devils.

Laurens said: “The data and the numbers are really good for such a young player, he’s only 19 and turns 20 at the end of June. He is a great talent there’s no doubt, he is super tall, but then very good on the ball, very intelligent, very aware, the movement is great.

“He was on loan in Denmark for six months, I think he matured a lot there then he had an amazing first half of the season in Ligue 1. He scored nine goals in 14 starts, he has been injured since February but there is no doubt that in terms of, if you are looking for a young striker he is the one with the most potential.

“The because it’s only Reims and Ligue 1, he would be quite cheap if you compare him with someone who already plays at a big club. He is nowhere near the finished article, but I think there is a lot of potential there.

“Don’t sign him to be your starter and expect him to score 30 goals a season and play 60 games, however if you give him some time and some space his development will continue and I think he can be a really good asset for even a team like Manchester United. It is a very clever signing because he won’t cost you more than €15million.”

When asked by his co-host whether Ekitike would be more of a supporting striker, the BT Sport contributor said: “He can do everything. I was amazed by his progress this season.

“He can be the target man because he has got that size. He has got the ability to play with his back to goal, no problem, he is a great finisher, one-touch finish, two-touch finish. The movement is great, he scored a lot of goals on the counter attack for Reims because Reims are a defensive team that plays a lot on the counter.

“He has developed that side of his game but he is also really intelligent in the box with his movement on crosses, in the air.”

Manchester United and Erik ten Hag could be looking for a new striker this summer, with Edinson Cavani set to leave on a free transfer.

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