Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confessed he is keen to sign a new striker in January after struggling for numbers in attack in Thursday’s 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.

United needed to win by a two-goal margin to move into first in their group but could only find the back of the net through Alejandro Garnacho’s first-half strike. The teenager started in a front four alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Donny van de Beek and Bruno Fernandes, with Marcus Rashford the only attacking option on the bench.

Antony, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial were all sidelined for the game, after which Ten Hag confessed he needs more numbers to choose from in attack.

“We need options,” the Dutchman told BT Sport. “We have problems there.

“Antony not available, Anthony Martial not available, Jadon Sancho not available, but I’m really happy with that performance and I hope [Garnacho] can keep the process going.”

Such was his lack of options on the bench that centre-back Harry Maguire came on for the final eight minutes to play as a striker alongside Rashford and Ronaldo.

“Of course, we always want to be number one,” Ten Hag added after the game. “And when we are not we are disappointed about it. But finally, we won tonight. It was a clean sheet. We created some great chances, but we had some problems in the front line.

“It’s clear we have to work on that. We have to score more goals. But in the end it is what it is. I think that within this group we’ve had our opportunities to get a better goal difference. That’s the right analysis.”

90min understands Ten Hag is prepared to offload Ronaldo in January but only if ample replacements can be found, with prolific PSV Eindhoven sensation Cody Gakpo high on his wish list.


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