The international break might mean a pause in Premier League action, but it’s still set to be a busy period for Manchester United. We already know the club have taken this opportunity to step up the search for their next manager, interviewing Ajax boss Erik ten Hag earlier in the week.
Yet beyond their managerial search, it’s likely that United officials will also be drawing up a list of potential transfers to pursue. It’s no secret that signing a new striker will be a priority with Edinson Cavani set to depart on a free transfer, and Cristiano Ronaldo entering the final year of his contract.
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski has been one of the players heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks after the Polish star suggested he could move on from the German champions in the summer, despite having a year left on his current deal. Although Lewandowski is an elite-level striker, competition for his signature would be fierce, and that’s providing Bayern are even open to selling him, which at this stage is n’t clear.
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United might then be better advised to hunt a more realistic target who perhaps won’t have the same sort of media attention. And this is where Rennes forward Martin Terrier could become of interest.
In Ligue 1 this season, Terrier has enjoyed an excellent campaign, however, his name has largely drifted under the radar. He’s still just 24, yet he’s already played for some of France’s biggest clubs including Lille and Lyon.
He didn’t really excel with either, a point captured by the fact he’s still yet to have been called up to the French national team, despite being a regular at Under-21 level. In the summer of 2020, I have joined Rennes from Lyon for just over £10million. Although it looked like a fair fee for both clubs at the time, fast forward to now and Rennes will undoubtedly feel like they got the better deal.
Last season, his first at the club, he scored nine league goals and registered seven assists. In this campaign, he’s scored nearly double that (16), despite there still being a quarter of the season to go.
He scored 15 of those 16 goals from open play, that’s worth noting given that his total of 15 non-penalty goals matches the amount of non-penalty goals scored by Mohamed Salah this season, and is two more than Kylian Mbappe – despite playing fewer league minutes than both so far.
Away from the goals, the 24-year-old’s profile should add a further layer of appeal from a United perspective. He’s a strong but also technically proficient attacker. This brings a certain versatility to his game and he is comfortable playing at center forward, as a second striker, as an attacking midfielder and on the wing. It’s in the latter on the left in which he has thrived most this season.
Despite being an attacker, it’s not all just about what Terrier can bring with the ball, but also his impact without it. He is a key pressing trigger for Rennes and can often lead defensive moves that force valuable turnovers in profitable areas deep inside the opposition’s half.
Terrier’s ability to press proficiently without the ball while bringing a ruthless scoring edge with it makes him an ideal forward for United. He might not be a Hollywood name in comparison to some of the other players linked with the club, yet we’ve seen in the past that such players haven’t always been the recipe for success that was initially hoped. Therefore, perhaps a new approach is required.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.