Man Utd win over Brighton highlights more than one transfer concern for Ed Woodward

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave his backup players a chance against Brighton in the Carabao Cup but it is clear to see there is a lack of depth in a couple of positions. Juan Mata played on the right-hand side and his lack of pace showed why United are crying out for a player like Jadon Sancho. Mata has never been blessed with speed but using the 32-year-old as a winger does not suit Solskjaer’s counter-attacking style.

Mason Greenwood is clearly the first choice on the right but United need alternatives. They cannot rely on an 18-year-old to be the only viable option in that position.

Daniel James played off the left at the Amex on Wednesday night and, yes, he has the pace, but the Wales international lacks composure in the final third – something he has not shown since his first few games as a United player.

Solskjaer needs to have quality to call upon if his first XI are not quite at their best.

Sancho would become an immediate starter if he did eventually complete his move from Borussia Dortmund.

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But Solskjaer would know he has a more than able replacement in Greenwood to bring on or to start if he wanted to give Sancho a rest.

The Brighton win also showed up United’s need for a backup striker to Anthony Martial.

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Odion Ighalo had a fine start to his Red Devils career following his loan move from Shanghai Shenhua in January.

The Nigeria international scored four goals in his first eight appearances before football was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic last season.

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However, the former Watford man has only scored once in 14 matches since lockdown.

Ighalo’s touch looked off against Brighton and he was hooked by Solskjaer after a poor 70-minute display.

The adrenaline the 31-year-old had after joining the club he supports appears to have run out.

United are linked with a couple of strikers in former PSG star Edinson Cavani and Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic.

Cavani is available for free and, despite his hefty wages, looks like a no-brainer for Ed Woodward.

Anthony Martial may have had his best goalscoring campaign last season but the Frenchman’s injury record is sketchy to say the least and having a player of Cavani’s quality could have a huge impact on the United squad.

Solskjaer knows he needs to be busy before next Monday’s deadline and despite calls for him to improve in defence, it is clear there are other areas further up the pitch that need addressing as well.

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