Paul Parker warns Erik ten Hag not to make Harry Kane & Robert Lewandowski transfer errors
Posted by  badge Boss on Apr 14
Ten Hag is reported to be joining United this summer (Picutre: Getty)

Paul Parker has told incoming manager Erik ten Hag he needs to sign a striker in the mould of Ruud van Nistelrooy, but must avoid getting embroiled in a battle to sign a ready-made superstar.

Ten Hag, 52, is on the verge of taking over at Old Trafford with talks said to be at an advanced stage between the Dutchman and the club’s hierarchy.

Since Robin van Persie left United in 2015, the Red Devils have struggled to find the perfect striker with the likes of Radamel Falcao and both flattering to deceive.

Van Nistelrooy was a formidable striker for United in the early 2000s (Picture: Getty)

Parker, who spent five years at United between 1991 and 1996, believes Ten Hag’s priority should be on signing a traditional centre-forward in the same ilk as Van Nistelrooy, who scored 95 goals for the Manchester giants in the early to mid-2000s.

Speaking to , he said: ‘I think United are going to have to do their homework and they’re going to have to find someone who’s got enough drive in them, who wants to score goals, who wants to play for , who wants to make his name and become a great for Manchester United.

‘A bit like a Ruud van Nistelrooy. Ruud van Nistelrooy was known as a goalscorer but he made his name, he established himself when he came to a big club like Manchester United at the time and he made it. Manchester United put him up there in the limelight.

‘Andy Cole had a big name for what he was doing at Newcastle but he got even bigger when he arrived. They need someone with an appetite. Not someone who’s had it, who can just look back and put his arms out and go – ‘well, I’m not getting any help’.

Harry Kane is said to be interesting Manchester United again (Picture: Getty)

After Lukaku departed Old Trafford in 2019 to join Inter Milan, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were tested out as United’s main striker but both players failed to convince in the role.

Meanwhile, in 2020, a 33-year-old Edinson Cavani was signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but the Uruguayan has turned out to be a bit-part player, rather than a permanent starter.

Last year, the club snapped up Cristiano Ronaldo believing he was the missing piece of the jigsaw but the 37-year-old has struggled to maintain the scoring rate he achieved earlier in the season and has cut a frustrated figure of late.

With Cavani now set to leave at the end of the season and Martial out of favour, United are expected to sign a new centre forward in the close season.

However, Parker has warned his old side to stay clear of the big name strikers and look for a young and hungry front man instead.

He added: ‘Someone who wants to prove a point and make a name for himself. Someone who’s on the thresholds of international football but maybe needs a big move and the opportunity to go and say – ‘I’m going to go and cement a regular place in my national team.’ That’s the kind of player.

‘I don’t want to hear (Robert) Lewandowski, Harry Kane and all that. United don’t need that. They don’t need another 30-plus centre-forward at this moment in time. They just need a workaholic, back to basics as such.’

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