Manchester United face Everton on the road in the Premier League after the international break and they could be without the services of Rasmus Hojlund up front.
The Dane picked up a muscle strain during the 1-0 win over Luton Town last weekend and United are hopeful that he could return before the end of November.
United are scheduled to face the Toffees on November 26 before a crucial Champions League group stage game at Galatasaray in less than 72 hours’ time.
In our view, manager Erik ten Hag may not risk the striker at Goodison Park with the Istanbul trip in mind. If that case, here are three candidates who could lead the line versus the Toffees.
The England international has had a difficult campaign with just one goal to date. He has played in different attacking roles but his fortunes have not changed.
Against the Toffees, he could be tasked to play up front. Rashford is not the best with his back against goal and tends to drift towards the left flank as he is winger.
However, he was successful last term with 11 goals and five assists from 19 outings as a centre-forward and could be asked to lead the line again in Hojlund’s absence.
The 27-year-old is the immediate back-up striker in the squad, but his form has been poor too.
The Frenchman missed a staggering 29 games with injuries last term. He still had impressive statistics with nine goals and three assists from 1,442 minutes in all competitions.
This season, he has found it difficult to make a similar contribution with one goal and one assist from nearly 400 minutes, but could get the chance to redeem himself at Goodison.
The Toffees are his favourite opposition. He has scored eight goals and provided four assists from 16 meetings. This includes a dramatic stoppage-time winner in the 2016 FA Cup semi-final.
Ten Hag experimented with Christian Eriksen in the false number nine role last season, but the Dane is out for at least a month following his knee injury against Luton last weekend.
In his absence, Fernandes could be handed a similar role versus the Toffees. Fernandes played in the position on a couple of occasions under Ralf Rangnick during the 2021/22 season.
He was unsuccessful in both games. United lost 4-1 to Manchester City before a 1-1 draw against Leicester City. Fernandes should be played up front as a last resort in our opinion.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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