Manchester United fans hoping for a January transfer window solution to their striking woes have been left disappointed, with manager Erik ten Hag admitting that Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions prevent any new signings. Anthony Martial’s 10-week injury layoff has left Rasmus Højlund as the club’s sole recognized striker, creating a significant gap in the squad.
“I looked but there is no space,” Ten Hag conceded in a press conference. “No space on FFP to do something about this lack of quantity in the striker position. Of course, [Marcus] Rashford can play as a striker and we have some other creative alternatives. It’s clear Anthony [Martial] is out for a couple of months and it’s a gap in our squad.”
While the absence of Martial is a blow, Ten Hag remains optimistic about his existing options. “Marcus Rashford can play as a striker and we have some other creative alternatives,” he said. However, relying solely on Rashford, who has primarily played on the wing this season, could prove risky, especially considering the importance of the upcoming FA Cup and Champions League matches.
The FFP constraints add another layer of frustration to United’s situation. The club has been working to improve its financial health under new ownership, but FFP regulations still limit their spending ability. This limitation could force Ten Hag to get creative with his tactics and squad selection in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, there is some positive news for United fans as Ten Hag has confirmed that goalkeeper Altay Bayindir will make his debut in the FA Cup tie against Newport County on Sunday. Bayindir has been waiting patiently for his chance since arriving from Fenerbahce in the summer, and with André Onana away on international duty with Cameroon, his time has finally come.
“He [Bayindir] will be in goal [against Newport],” Ten Hag said. “He waits for his chance but he is experienced, played in a big club in Turkey under big pressure and he knows how to deal with it. We were convinced, so we are looking forward to Sunday. Altay is waiting for this moment and this is his moment.”
Bayindir’s debut offers a glimmer of hope amidst the striker conundrum. While he can’t solve United’s scoring woes, his performance on Sunday will be something for fans to cheer about as the team navigates this challenging period.