Ralf Rangnick can use £17m transfer trick at Manchester United to replace Anthony Martial – Casey Evans

Anthony Martial has told Manchester United that he wants to leave the club, according to Ralf Rangnick. At the same time, there are reports in Europe and South America that Edinson Cavani is set to ask for the club’s permission to leave in January for Barcelona.

If both players were to leave, this would mean that United would only have Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford available as strikers in the senior team.

No current United player plays like a traditional number nine, like Cavani. Nor do they work well as a striker that links up play, as Martial has done when he has been in form.

Rangnick would need to address this quickly. Finding reasonably priced players of quality in the January window is quite rare outside of miracle deals like Bruno Fernandes.

Enter Julian Alvarez, River Plate’s main man upfront with a reported release clause of £17 million.

Argentinian outlet reported that United has established contact with River over a potential January transfer for the striker, as their season has finished. United will, however, face competition from Bayern Munich for his signature.

Alvarez is only 21 years old, but he is already a crucial part of Marcelo Gallardo’s set-up at a young age. Given the Argentinian manager’s philosophy, the forward has developed into a player that would thrive under Rangnick at United.

Alvarez had 18 goals in 21 games for River this season and registered six assists in the league. His goals helped River win the league title and earned him a call up to the Argentinian national side.

Julian Alvarez scored 18 goals in 21 games to lead River Plate to the league title and in turn alerting many of the world’s top clubs to his talent

Goals and assists are a hard statistic to measure a player off to some extent, given the difference in the quality of the leagues. He is scoring goals, and important goals at that is an obvious positive, but United will not know if he can replicate those numbers.

So what about his playstyle and important traits he will have gained at River Plate.

Alvarez is an explosive striker who can score with either foot. His ability is beyond his years to interpret the spaces around him and find gaps in the opponent’s defence to take advantage.

He is also versatile. Having played as the primary number nine and as a second striker, this could help him slot in well alongside Ronaldo in the short term and Greenwood in the long term.

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What Rangnick will like, is his aggression and stamina out of possession. Gallardo’s sides pressure the opponents from the front, like Rangnick, to force mistakes and win back the ball quickly. Alvarez can have a crucial part in this.

This would mean he would fit in quickly with what Rangnick demands in the short term, and his overall skill set could be beneficial to United’s next manager.

With the transfer window opening on January 1st, it is unclear what incoming and outgoing transfers we will see from United. Still, at £17 million, Alvarez would represent a shrewd piece of business that could develop into a world-class superstar.

Do you think Manchester United should sign Julian Alvarez in January? Follow our United On My Mind writer Casey Evans on Twitter and get involved in the discussion in the comment section below.

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