In a bid to get back into the Champions League spots, Manchester United invested heavily in the transfer market during the summer.
Recruiting defensively was a must for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and recruit in defence they did, signing full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka for £50million and centre-back Harry Maguire for £80m – a world-record fee for a defender.
There’s been slight improvement at the back after four Premier League games this season but still the same old inconsistencies for United.
A spectacular opening weekend victory over Chelsea has been somewhat ruined by two draws and a defeat in their three games since.
Goals have been difficult to come by since the Chelsea game too, with the Red Devils only managing a return of three in three.
So maybe United’s problems are not just in defence.
Solskjaer only has two recognised and experienced forwards to choose from this season in Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford following Romelu Lukaku’s departure to Inter Milan and Alexis Sanchez going to the same place on loan for 2019/20.
And despite Martial and Rashford’s tremendous potential, their goalscoring ratio has not been as good as they would have liked for a club that are seeking a top four finish.
Since the start of the 2018/19 season, Martial has scored 12 goals in 30 Premier League matches with an average of 0.4 goals per game.
Meanwhile Rashford has 12 goals in 37 Premier League outings with an average of 0.32 goals per game.
But how do their Premier League goals per game ratio compare to forwards from United’s top six rivals? talkSPORT.com takes a look…
Manchester City’s firepower
The goals per game ratio of Manchester City forwards since the start of the 18/19 Premier League season
Sergio Aguero – Goals per game: 0.73
Gabriel Jesus – Goals per game: 0.26
Riyad Mahrez – Goals per game: 0.23
Leroy Sane – Goals per game: 0.32
Raheem Sterling – Goals per game: 0.58
It’s not surprising City have been English champions for the last two seasons with numbers like Aguero and Sterling’s – Martial and Rashford are a long way off that.
Martial is ahead of Sane, while Rashford is level with the German and the United pair have a better goals per game ratio than Mahrez and Jesus but the fact City currently have more attackers chipping in with goals than United shows how far apart both sides are.
The goals per game ratio of Liverpool forwards since the start of the 18/19 Premier League season
Roberto Firmino – Goals per game: 0.37
Sadio Mane – Goals per game: 0.6
Mohamed Salah – Goals per game: 0.6
Amazingly, Martial actually has a better goals per game ratio than Firmino, however, Rashford is behind Liverpool’s deadly front three.
The Reds are also miles ahead of United in their attacking quality as they have two players who are scoring at a much higher rate than both Martial and Rashford.
The goals per game ratio of Tottenham forwards since the start of the 18/19 Premier League season
Harry Kane – Goals per game: 0.63
Lucas Moura – Goals per game: 0.31
Heung-min Son – Goals per game: 0.36
There’s not a lot between it when you compare Martial and Rashford’s goals per game ratio with Lucas Moura and Heung-min Son’s stats.
However, Tottenham are that step above United as they have Kane to call on, who is arguably the most natural goalscorer in world football.
The goals per game ratio of Chelsea forwards since the start of the 18/19 Premier League season
Olivier Giroud – Goals per game: 0.07
Pedro – Goals per game: 0.24
Willian – Goals per game: 0.09
One club who have even bigger problems up front than United is Chelsea, however.
Pedro’s average of 0.24 looks good in comparison to Willian and Giroud. Tammy Abraham was on loan at Aston Villa last season so his ratio wasn’t included.
These stats just show how much they relied on Eden Hazard in 2018/19.
The goals per game ratio of Arsenal forwards since the start of the 18/19 Premier League season
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Goals per game: 0.63
Alexandre Lacazette – Goals per game: 0.39
Martial is narrowly ahead of Lacazette, however, he is way behind Aubameyang, who shared the Golden Boot with Salah and Mane last season.
The signing of Nicolas Pepe in the summer probably means goalscoring will be much less of an issue for the Gunners this season too.
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Here’s what is coming up this week…
- Derby vs Cardiff (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Liverpool vs Newcastle (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Fulham vs West Brom (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Tottenham vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Norwich vs Man City (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Huddersfield vs Sheffield Wednesday (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Barnsley vs Leeds (Sunday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT