Sammy McIlroy - Exclusive Interview

Manchester United legend Sammy McIlroy believes the club should do “everything in their power” to sign a new striker before the January transfer window slams shut.

Sammy McIlroy
Neil Goulding

Written by: Neil Goulding

(Senior Sports Reporter)

Last updated: 2024-02-01

3 minutes read

Finding a Striker

Manchester United legend Sammy McIlroy believes the club should do “everything in their power” to sign a new striker before the transfer window slams shut today. The Red Devils are languishing in ninth place in the Premier League standings ahead of transfer deadline day, and with goals increasingly hard to come by, McIlroy has stressed the urgency for the club to bolster their ranks with a proven hitman.

"It has been done, Manchester United need a striker in this window,” urged McIlroy, who scored 71 goals during a distinguished decade-long career with the club. “January is always hard, but the club are crying out for a new striker, especially with Antony Martial injured now and Marcus Rashford struggling for goals."

"Ideally you want goals coming from all over the park, so I’d even be happy if we signed a proven midfielder who scores."

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Whatever happens, the main priority has to be a striker. The problem is tough that the closer to the window shutting, the more the players’ price tags become inflated. It’s crazy these days and because it’s Manchester United, the fee probably doubles.

"That’s what it has to be, a proven player like when we signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He did a fantastic job, but you don’t get many players like him who are available. It would be great if we got someone with experience across lots of different leagues and obviously he's scored a lot of goals. I’m not really sure who they will sign. I really like the lad Morgan Rogers, I’ve watched him a few times, but then Aston Villa have snapped him up. I think he would have been a great signing for them."

"But whatever happens, the main priority has to be a striker. The problem is tough that the closer to the window shutting, the more the players’ price tags become inflated. It’s crazy these days and because it’s Manchester United, the fee probably doubles. Hopefully we can get some business done. It’s about finding a proven player and sealing the deal.”

Misfiring Rashford

Scotland international midfielder Scott McTominay is United’s leading scorer with just FIVE goals this season. Misfiring striker Marcus Rashford has just four league goals and new summer signing Rasmus Hojlund has only scored twice in the league following his high-profile £72million move to 13-time Premier League champions. The former Northern Ireland international McIlroy, affectionately known as the ‘Last Busby Babe’ – legendary manager Sir Matt Busby’s final signing – has been left perplexed how McTominay is leading the scoring charts, with not one player having even resgistered double digits this term.

“It’s just not good enough,” stressed McIlroy, “For Scott McTominay to be our top-scorer...and from a midfield position, especially with the players we’ve got in that squad. I don’t want to just single out Marcus Rashford because he had such a remarkable goal-tally last season, but are we depending on him to score all our goals?"

“That shouldn’t be, the goals should be spread out throughout the team, but whatever happens, we should have a striker who is scoring goals. We should have someone who is getting into double figures. At the minute we’ve got no one doing that.”

Neil Goulding

Neil Goulding

Neil has been a journalist for longer than he'd care to remember, having written for national newspapers and respected publications for over 25 years. For the last three years he has worked freelance for BBC Sport, working on the production desk as a sub-editor and also as a writer, covering a whole range of sports.

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