Manchester United ended the summer window without having secured a new centre-forward recruit, with manager Erik ten Hag left to rely on the injury-prone Anthony Martial and a potentially unsettled Cristiano Ronaldo until January, at least.
While there has been a real upturn in performances in recent weeks with five wins from their last six games, there may well be concern at the lack of an in-form, out-and-out number nine, with the two men mentioned above having netted just one goal between them so far this term.
One notable name that was mentioned as a potential striking addition in the recent window – aside from the brief bizarre pursuit of an ageing Marko Arnautovic – was Red Bull Salzburg starlet, Benjamin Sesko, with technical director John Murtough having met the player’s agent regarding a possible deal.
Journalist Fabrizio Romano had suggested that the Slovenia international was a player on the Red Devils’ “list” as a possible target, albeit with the 19-year-old subsequently sealing something of an inevitable move to RB Leipzig for a reported fee of around £55m – albeit while staying at his current club until 2023.
While links to the teenager had only emerged over the summer, the suggestion is that the Old Trafford outfit had been scouting the striker since his days at former club Domzale, having potentially been interested in a move in 2019 before he joined Salzburg.
The Premier League side are said to have backed away from a potential deal, however, having viewed a reported asking price of just £2.5m as too ‘excessive’, with that fee now looking a total bargain in relation to his recent cost.
Will Man United regret missing out on Sesko?
The 6 foot 5 powerhouse has seemingly merited such a price tag as a result of his stunning form in recent seasons in Austria, notably netting 22 goals and laying on seven assists in just 44 games while on loan at FC Liefering.
Since his return to his parent club, the “generational” talent – as dubbed by journalist Ryan Taylor – has scored 16 goals in just 51 games in all competitions, including five goals in just 13 games in the current campaign.
Such is his quality, the 13-cap sensation has even been likened to current Manchester City machine Erling Haaland, with the Norwegian hotshot another whom United have missed out on over the years.
With Sesko now on his way to Germany at the end of the season, it remains to be seen if he will ever end up at the Theatre of Dreams, albeit even if he does it will likely be for a far more considerable fee than the £2.5m they could have signed him for three years ago.