United Team News at Brighton: Ronaldo, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka, Lingard

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After Manchester United routed Brentford 3-0 in Monday Night Football, the best win of the Ralf Rangnick stint (there haven’t been many Ws to speak of), the caretaker manager gave a very blunt assessment of what the club needs to do in attack.

The German said that the club must add two legit, modern strikers to supplement Cristiano Ronaldo, and in the process seems to have confirmed that CR7 will indeed be back next season as the Erik ten Hag era begins.

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Kickoff: Saturday May  7, Falmer Stadium, 5:30pm local

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“Cristiano isn’t a central striker or does not want to play in that position,” Rangnick said.

“It’s obvious the club needs at least two new strikers who give this team more quality and more options. I wouldn’t even call it wingers.

“Two strikers and modern strikers, that do not necessarily have to be wingers. If you look into international football, there aren’t many top teams who still play with two strikers. Most play with either three strikers or a false nine.”

He’s right- Ronaldo is not a striker, but at the same time, he’s accounted for a third of the club’s goals this season. If it weren’t for the galactico, United would be long eliminated from any kind of European football this season.

We looked at who should/might go/stay in the United final third this summer, over at this link.

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According to the club’s website, Harry Maguire (knee) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (unspecified issue) returned to first team training on Friday. Whether or not having them back in the lineup is a good thing or not, is well, debatable.

ManUtd.com does confirm three absentees for the Saturday fixture at Brighton & Hove Albion however:

“Luke Shaw (leg), Paul Pogba (calf) and Jadon Sancho (tonsillitis) remain on the sidelines, with Ralf suggesting they may not feature again this season.”

It’s safe to say that Jesse Lingard will join Pogba in never featuring again in a United shirt. He was not even allotted a cameo, in a big blowout, for the home finale earlier this week. That led to his brother having an Instagram tirade about the decision, and he slammed the overall club itself.

Lingard’s contract is set to expire this summer with AC Milan and Juventus said to be keen on him.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram

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