Football

Paul Scholes: Man United need Harry Kane more than Jadon Sancho

Club legend believes Red Devils are lacking an out-and-out goalscorer

Former Manchester United star Paul Scholes said the Red Devils lack a prolific centre-forward and should prioritise a move for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane over Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.

United, who defeated LASK Linz 2-1 in the Europa League yesterday morning (Singapore time), have been heavily linked with a move for the 20-year-old Sancho, but media reports said the club have baulked at Dortmund's valuation of around £100 million (S$179.6m).

England captain Kane signed a six-year contract extension with Spurs in 2018, but said in March he could leave if they do not progress in the right direction.

"Don't get me wrong, Sancho is a top-quality footballer, he would improve any team in world football," Scholes told BT Sport of the England international, who bagged 20 goals and 20 assists in all competitions last season.

"His stats say that he is a goalscorer, he will make and score lots of goals. I just think we already have three forwards or wide men who are very similar to Sancho, possibly not quite as good as him, but potentially they could be."

Scholes, who won 11 English Premier League titles with United, said Kane is the out-and-out goalscorer the English giants need right now.

"If that is Harry Kane you are talking about, I would be more desperate to sign him than Sancho at this stage," he said.

"United need a centre-forward, a real No. 9, a real goalscorer, and Kane would be that man for me."

Yesterday, Anthony Martial proved the difference in the centre-forward role after his winner sealed a 7-1 aggregate rout of LASK in the second leg of the Europa League last 16.

United's reward is a clash with Copenhagen in Cologne on Tuesday morning (Singapore time), after the Danish side beat Istanbul Basaksehir 3-0 at home yesterday to wipe out a 1-0 first-leg deficit.

United, who won Europe's second-tier club competition in 2017, appeared to be going through the motions. They fell behind to a spectacular Philipp Wiesinger goal in the 55th minute, before Jesse Lingard and substitute Martial replied.

Having been virtually assured of progress after a 5-0 win at LASK in March, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fielded a below-strength side at Old Trafford and they looked completely at sea for an hour.

Solskjaer said the fringe players needed a run out to stay in shape for United's trip to Germany, where the latter stages of the competition will be played in a mini-tournament, as his side aim to end the season on a high.

"The players need to play to keep that sharpness," the Norwegian told BT Sport.

"Some of these lads haven't played for a while and it showed. Some haven't played since lockdown. It was a good exercise. It's job done, minutes under the belt and on to (face) Copenhagen."

Solskjaer also hinted that under-fire custodian David de Gea could still be recalled for the latter stages of the Europa League, despite Sergio Romero making eight appearances in the tournament this season.

"Sergio's played well tonight, definitely," Solskjaer said.

"I'm not going to say he is the Europa League goalkeeper, it's between him and David all the time. We're going to pick a team that is going to win this tournament, so you'll just have to wait and see." - REUTERS

Football