Connect in the back of the net

Gone are the days when the combination of Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo used to put up ridiculous figures, much like the way Messi, Suarez and Neymar are doing at Barcelona today. During the 2007/08 Premier League season, the three formed a formidable, near telepathic partnership that saw them score a staggering 80 goals that inspired Manchester United to clinching the domestic and Champions League double.

The last time United were scoring at will Robin van Persie was in the thick of it, netting 26 goals that inescapably propelled them back to the summit of the English game; but that was during Sir Alex Ferguson’s final bow at Old Trafford. With the baton having been passed twice in three years already since Fergie’s departure (anyone fancy a third time?), the change of guard has brought a change of fortune at the Theatre of Dreams.

Despite the dwindling number of goals over the years, Manchester United should take great pride in the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah- just to mention a few- who hold the promise of the future. In that respect, here are United’s three leading goal scorers thus far.


Anthony Martial [15]

If Anthony Martial was a waste of money, then I wouldn’t have it any other way. The arrival of the then 19-year old from France was watermarked with banter from rival supporters and even more banter from the English media, just to quench the hounding rival supporters.

It wasn’t that Martial was from France, but rather how the alleged £36 million would ever justify the signing of a 19-year old relatively unknown beyond the tabloids of Ligue One.

Cold as ice, Martial silenced his critics in spectacular fashion with a debut goal against Liverpool in September. The goal seemed to add wind to his sails as Martial is now Manchester United’s leading goal scorer this season with 15 goals in all competitions, with his most recent being the opener during their 1-1 draw with Leicester City.


Wayne Rooney [14]

He may not be as quick or as agile, but Wayne Rooney adds a different dimension to the game every time he steps on the turf for the Red devils. Despite the evident, gradual depreciation in performance due to aging, his ability to switch play and pick out long range passes is still just as impeccable.

Over the years the Manchester United skipper has adapted to playing a deep lying midfield role that has brought the best out of the younger, aggressive forwards such as Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial; but Rooney wouldn’t be Rooney without the goals.

The 30-year old is second on the goal scoring charts with 14 goals in all competition, this notwithstanding his two month layoff due to a knee ligament injury.


Juan Mata [8]

Louis van Gaal’s philosophy of incorporating unexplainable tweaks and changes have utterly and completely stifled Juan Mata’s creativity which is his biggest strength. Juan has become a shadow of his former self, as he has been in-effectually reduced to a passenger on the wings. Nonetheless, the Spaniard still has 8 goals to his name in all competitions this season.

It will be interesting to see whether the attacking midfielder will keep up with Louis van Gaal’s failing philosophy or perhaps opt for a move away from Old Trafford should Jose Mourinho take over at Old Trafford.


Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

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