Manchester United lack 20-goal-a-season striker, says Van Gaal

The Dutchman claims that he needs a lethal finish – despite being able to choose between Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Wayne Rooney in his star-studded squad

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says that his team are missing a 20-goal-a-season striker.

The Red Devils are currently fourth in the Premier League, a distant 13 points behind leaders Chelsea, and face tough competition to secure a Champions League spot for next season.

Robin van Persie is United’s top scorer this season with 10 goals but is now set for a spell out of the team through injury, while Radamel Falcao has so far struggled to adapt to the demands of English football and Wayne Rooney has most regularly been deployed in midfield.

Consequently, Van Gaal believes that United are sorely lacking in the striking department.

“It’s true because I cannot deny it,” Van Gaal told reporters. “Robin van Persie cannot deny it, Falcao cannot deny it and Rooney is not playing there much anymore but we cannot deny that, at this moment, we don’t have a striker who scores 20 goals in the season.”

Van Gaal has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for his side’s unconvincing displays but he says that the players must take some of the blame.

“It’s not always the fault of the manager when a player is not performing well, I can tell you,” he added. “I think not only Di Maria [is struggling], I think all the players.

“My belief, and the belief of the board, is when you do things with your conscience, then it shall be better but, at the end, every player has to do each task with intuition because that is the process.

“Di Maria needs to go through that process and at the end he shall be much better. I know as a manager that he’s a very creative player and you can see this from the statistics.

“He needs that space and I give that space but he needs to do also things with his brain and that’s a learning process, not only with Di Maria but with all the players.”

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