Man Utd Transfer News: Erik ten Hag admits he ‘wanted a striker’ in January

Tom Weber
Tom Weber

  • Updated: 2 Feb 2024 17:11 GMT
  • 3 min read
Erik ten Hag, Rasmus Hojlund, Man Utd

Erik ten Hag has admitted that he was keen to add another striker to his Manchester United side in January.

The winter transfer window has come and gone, with Man Utd solely completing outgoing transfers, offloading the likes of Jadon Sancho, Facundo Pellistri and Hannibal Mejbri. Despite several high-profile exits – albeit mostly on loan – the Red Devils did not manage to bring anyone in.

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Financial Fair Play restrictions ruined any plans Erik ten Hag may have had of strengthening his underperforming side, which endured a historically bad start to the campaign. Indeed, the Dutchman has admitted that he would have loved to add another striker to his side.

Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s Premier League clash against West Ham, Ten Hag revealed: “It’s not a secret I wanted a striker. With the injury to [Anthony] Martial, we don’t really have the backup. But it wasn’t possible because we have to match the FFP rules.”

“There are some disadvantages with FFP. To make space for FFP, you have to sell players and you have to sell good players and I don’t think that’s the way you build a team.”

Erik ten Hag and Rasmus Hojlund
© IMAGO – Erik ten Hag and Rasmus Hojlund

Man Utd’s failed striker pursuit

Martial will be sidelined until April, leaving young Rasmus Hojlund as the club’s only recognised senior number nine. Unsurprisingly, then, the Red Devils were heavily linked with strikers in January.

The likes of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Timo Werner, Thomas Muller and Serhou Guirassy were all associated with a switch to Old Trafford, but nothing ultimately materialised due to the club’s lack of financial wiggle room.

Man Utd’s impotent attack has been Ten Hag’s biggest headache this term, with Martial only scoring once in the Premier League prior to his injury. Hojlund did not score a single league goal until Boxing Day. He now has three for the season after back-to-back goals and assists against Tottenham and Wolves.

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