The question of who starts in United’s best attacking line-up is made considerably easier because Louis Van Gaal’s preferred system utilises two out-and-out strikers.
Let’s say, however, that their was only one place available – that LVG wanted to play Herrera, Mata and Di Maria in a revolving 3 behind a single forward. Who gets the nod? Which one of these superstar strikers is United’s best? Who’s your best bet for first goalscorer on this website about betting?
United’s captain and longest-serving striker, Rooney is a controversial figure. For the past decade he’s been making headlines across the world, both for his antics off the field and his mesmerising ability on it. A bullish, rugged forward who is deceptively quick and incredibly proficient technically, Rooney’s shaky 18 months have done little to tarnish his reputation as one of the worlds most complete forwards. He’s often said that he feels most comfortable playing as an out-and-out striker, Rooney’s fantastic passing range, positional intelligence and tireless engine have seen him play in midfield on a number of occasions. This could work against him in his battle to start up top for Van Gaal, as his adaptability might see him used as a stop-gap in midfield if an injury crisis hits. Despite this, if Rooney can recapture his once-sparkling club form, he can still make a claim to be United’s (and the Premier League’s for that matter) best player.
Despite Falcao’s status as one of the world’s most lethal forwards, he remains a relative unknown to England’s media. This is in part due to his time in Monaco, in a league which is rarely discussed in this country – and of course, to the fact that he missed half a year to injury, and has barely played since. Those aren’t reasons to dismiss the multi-million pound loan man, though. I can speak of his time in Spain, where he was, simply put, unplayable. He’s terrifyingly fast, tearing up the pitch in short time, bustling defenders out of his way before finishing moves with his deceptively intelligent finishing. El Tigre was a phenomenon at Atletico Madrid, and may find that the speed of the Premier League suits his fast-paced style. If he can find fitness and form, he could drag United back to the summit of English football.
Robin Van Persie
A personal favourite of Louis Van Gaal, RVP has been one of the Premier League’s most prolific scorers since his last season at London giants Arsenal. Deflated by the premature departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, Van Persie looked an unhappy man under Moyes. Now, however, he’ll find it difficult to find excuses for any patches of poor form. Coached by a manager who clearly rates him and fed by some of the worlds premium creative talents, the dutchman needs to start firing again if he’s to fend off the challenge of Manchester new boy Falcao. His creative approach to finishing has always been amongst his biggest strengths, and he needs to use this to his advantage as his body declines physically. A Puskas award for his goal against Spain in Brazil may give him the boost he needs to make this season a success.
Rooney’s captaincy gives him a serious edge when considering my verdict. That, combined with the fact that he’s still brimming with terrifying ability, tempts me to believe he’s still United’s best option up front. Van Persie is showing signs of decline, whilst Falcao is untested in this league – Rooney is at the peak of his physicality and has experience to boot. United will look to their captain to lead the line frequently this year, and the Englishman must deliver.