For all the euphoria surrounding Manchester United‘s recent derby day triumph, one sour note was that of Anthony Martial, with the Frenchman having been withdrawn at half-time after sustaining yet another injury blow.
The 27-year-old has already had a heavily-disrupted campaign after enduring numerous stints on the treatment table, with there perhaps a growing frustration that the former Monaco man simply cannot stay fit, nor is he seemingly willing to play through the pain barrier, as his teammate Marcus Rashford did on Saturday.
Even without that latest injury setback, however, the £250k-per-week man has still been somewhat uninspiring since the return to action following the World Cup break, with his only goal in that time coming in the win over Nottingham Forest.
Although the 30-cap marksman does boast a respectable haul of five goals in 13 games in all competitions this season, Erik ten Hag’s side are likely to need more from their centre-forward if they are to kick on and truly get back to the top in the coming years.
In truth, Martial has rarely proven a consistent goalscoring presence since his arrival in England back in 2015, having only reached double figures for league goals on three occasions, while scoring just five top-flight goals in the previous two seasons, prior to the start of this term.
After over seven years at Old Trafford, it does appear that the 5 foot 11 hotshot has had more than enough chances to impress at the club, with it no doubt time that the Red Devils hang their hat on someone else to deliver the goods through the middle.
According to ESPN, Ten Hag and co are set to look to the summer transfer window in order to find a new, long-term centre-forward recruit, with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen one of those to have been named as a potential target.
That has been followed by more recent reports in Italy that have claimed United are ‘already lining up’ a move for the Nigerian international at the end of the season, with the 24-year-old set to command an eye-watering fee of around €150m (£133m).
That would prove a sizeable outlay as far as those at the Theatre of Dreams are concerned, although Osimhen could well represent the missing piece of the jigsaw for Ten Hag, having emerged as a real “goal machine” in recent years, as per journalist Mimi Fawaz.
The £93k-per-week sensation has been a vital part of Luciano Spalletti’s high-flying outfit in Serie A this term, having scored 12 goals in just 14 league appearances to date, including a recent brace in the thumping 5-1 win over title rivals Juventus.
That has ensured that the forward’s overall tally for the Naples outfit now stands at 41 goals in just 79 games, after previously also netting 18 times in only 38 games at Ligue 1 side Lille, as well as 20 goals in 36 games for Pro League outfit Charleroi.
A player who has seemingly hit the ground running in Italy, France and Belgium, the Lagos-born star has an overall club career record of 79 goals in only 169 games, with that a far better hit rate than that of Martial, who has taken 368 games to reach just 100 goals in his career so far.
It is perhaps unsurprising that the latter man has never proven prolific during his time in the Premier League as he appears to rarely put himself in an ideal position to score, as he ranks in just the bottom 34% in Europe among those in his position for touches in the attacking penalty area.
Osimhen, by contrast, is a true out-and-out centre-forward and a far more proficient poacher, with that evidenced by not only his impressive goal return, but also the fact that he ranks in the top 9% for touches in the attacking penalty area, when compared to his positional peers.
With Martial currently failing to fire for Ten Hag, the Dutchman could finally ditch the long-serving asset in order to get the Napoli machine through the door this summer.