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NTTF: If Man Utd Sign Kane & Rice, What Would Their Starting XI Look Like Next Season?

If Man Utd Sign Kane & Rice, What Would Their Starting XI Look Like Next Season?

On this week’s episode of the No Tippy Tappy Football podcast hosted by Tim Sherwood and Natalie Pike, we welcomed legendary Premier League striker Andrew Cole.

The 51-year-old is one of the most decorated strikers in English football history, having won 12 major honours and played a significant role in Manchester United’s famous treble-winning campaign in the 1998/99 season. Here, we take a look at what Cole had to say about his former club.

Cole Critical of United’s Short-Termism in the Striker Department

During his time At Old Trafford, Cole scored 93 Premier League goals in 195 appearances between 1995 and 2001 for the Red Devils and has expressed his frustration at United’s short-term strategies in the striker department, on top of their lack of ability to score goals, with the Red Devils finding the net just 51 times in 35 top-flight matches this season.

Since the start of the 2012/13 campaign, United’s main and most notable striker signings have been the likes of Robin van Persie, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo, something that Cole disapproves of, saying that “a football club like Man United can’t having something like this every two years, it is ridiculous”.

Cole has expressed that “they (United) know now, that they must sign someone who is going to give us (United), five years”. Interestingly, Cole believes that Harry Kane would also drop into the short-term strategy bracket, with the England captain about to turn 30-years-old in the summer.

The 51-year-old touched on the fact that when he was playing at United, he was teammates with Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who were there for a sustained period of time, while Sir Alex Ferguson went on to sign the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy to refresh the squad.

Interestingly, when Sherwood asked Cole who he would sign to play up-front, Victor Osimhen was mentioned between the pair, with the latter expressing that he feels that he would be a good signing, but, would be fearful that if the club spent £120m on the Nigerian then their summer transfer budget would be gone, especially with suggestions that United’s summer transfer budget will be a net spend of £100m due to FFP issues.

Osimhen is currently subject to a lot of interest from several European giants, having helped Napoli win their first Scudetto crown since 1990, scoring 23 goals and creating five assists in 29 Serie A appearances.

Would Signing Kane & Rice Make United Title Challengers?

At present, United are 19 points behind top-of-the-table Manchester City with three games to go in the 2022/23 Premier League season, however, former Premier League-winning captain, Sherwood, has suggested that two key signings could tilt Erik ten Hag’s side towards their first top-flight title charge in ten years.

The ex-Blackburn Rovers midfielder mentioned that “Kane would turn United’s fortunes around in an instance”, and that a further addition of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice would mean that the Old Trafford club would be second favourites to win their first league title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

Cole though, believes that sides such as Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham can only get better, while Arsenal will still be there. On top of this, the 51-year-old further went on to say that United would need more than two players to close the gap to Manchester City.

This is a hotly debated topic amongst United fans, with many questioning the dwindling abilities of goalkeeper, David De Gea, despite the Spaniard winning this season’s Premier League Golden Glove, on top of many other players that regularly feature in their starting XI.

Manchester United Potential XI NTTF

Cole’s Thoughts on Garnacho & Antony

In conversation, Pike, brought up the topic of Alejandro Garnacho’s debut campaign, with the 18-year-old Argentinian winger being one of United’s most impressive players, having scored five and created five assists in just 1,069 first-team minutes - culminating in the Madrid-born winger earning a new five-year contract.

Cole is a fan of the United youth academy product, mentioning that “he’s got a fantastic future ahead of him” further adding “I think everyone is talking about him because he’s very direct…which in the game today you won’t see a lot of that”. The ex-United man also stated “Next season will be a real big season for him”

Shortly after discussing Garnacho, Sherwood pressed Cole for his thoughts on Antony, to which the latter replied by saying “I think the jury is still out on him, it was a hell of a lot of money” after showing “flashes” of his potential and that “next season is going to be his biggest season”, with this one being the Brazilian winger's debut campaign in England following his £82m move from Ajax last summer.