Manchester United will face Liverpool on Sunday afternoon in the standout tie of the FA Cup fourth round. The Red Devils currently have the upper hand over their bitter rivals in the Premier League, but Jurgen Klopp‘s side will be looking to hit back after they were forced to settle for a goalless draw at Anfield in their last meeting earlier this month.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to field a much-changed side from Wednesday’s narrow victory over Fulham, with the likes of Dean Henderson, Alex Telles and Donny van de Beek all in line to start the match at Old Trafford.
Anthony Martial, who has featured in all but four of the club’s league games this season, could also be involved in some capacity.
Despite playing over 1,000 minutes in the Premier League, the Frenchman has scored just three goals since the beginning of the campaign, marking a departure from the prolific form he showed towards the end of last season.
Martial found the net on seven occasions during United’s final 13 league matches in 2019/20, showing that he can be an important member of the club’s attacking trident.
However, his muted showings this time around have sparked rumours that the Red Devils could be in the market for a new striker before too long, with Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland tipped as the ideal long-term solution to United’s dilemma.
Legendary former midfielder Paul Scholes, who played over 700 matches for the Red Devils, echoed these sentiments at the start of the season when he suggested that Martial misled many at the club into believing he would eventually establish himself as a world-class forward.
“Martial almost conned us into thinking he was one [a high-level striker] at the end of last season because he scored so many goals and was quite good,” Scholes said in October.
“He’s started this season quite poorly again, which makes you think he isn’t. It’s misleading. That’s why I’ve kept saying we need a top-class No 9.”
A move for Haaland could reportedly cost United as little as £51m, the value of his release clause which will come into effect at the end of the season.
This would surely be a no-brainer for the Red Devils, with Solskjaer known to be a strong admirer of the 20-year-old’s talents.
The United boss handed Haaland his professional debut during his time with Molde, and has previously claimed that his compatriot will smash his record for the most Champions League goals scored by a Norwegian player.
Solskjaer managed 20 goals in Europe’s elite club competition during his career, a tally that Haaland, despite his tender years, is just four shy of.
“He’ll beat it and very quickly, that’s for sure,” Solskjaer told United’s club website in December.
“The boy has had a great start to his career. It was really good to work with him, to see the potential in him and some part of me feels proud of having a little bit of input into such a rise.
”I’m sure Erling will score loads of goals in the Champions League.“
It remains to be seen whether the Red Devils will launch a bid for Haaland during the summer.
A number of Europe’s top clubs, including Chelsea and Real Madrid, have also been linked with the young striker’s signature in recent months.