Erik ten Hag to get ‘creative’ after failing to sign striker

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Manchester United failed to make a signing in January

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says he will have to be “creative” with his team selections after the club failed to sign a striker in the January transfer window.

Anthony Martial has been ruled out until mid-April after groin surgery, leaving Rasmus Hojlund as the club’s only recognised centre forward.

Ten Hag wanted to sign cover in January but was limited by financial rules.

“It’s not a secret that I wanted a striker extra,” said Ten Hag.

“Because with the injury of Martial we don’t really have back-up there, but it was not possible because we have to match the Financial Fair Play rules.

“We have Omari [Forson], we have Amad Diallo, of course, we have Rashford who can play there. I think for the rest, all the positions are occupied. But, yeah, we have to be a little bit creative if it’s up to the number nine position.”

United have scored 28 goals in 22 Premier League matches this term.

Alejandro Garnacho, Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford started in attack during United’s 4-3 win against Wolves on Thursday, but the trio have just 19 goals between them in all competitions this season.

Antony, who came on as a substitute at Molineux, scored his first goal of the season in a 4-2 FA Cup fourth-round win against Newport County last Sunday, while Forson is yet to make a competitive start for the club.

United allowed Jadon Sancho, Donny van de Beek and Hannibal Mejbri to leave the club on loan in January, as they look to comply with the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules.

“There are some disadvantages on Financial Fair Play [profit and sustainability rules],” said Ten Hag.

“So, to make space for FFP, you actually have to sell players and you have to sell good players. I don’t think that’s the way you build a team.”

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