Ex-Man Utd great warns Erik ten Hag against Victor Osimhen signing
Jakob (Jaap) Stam (left) was snubbed by Erik ten Hag in being his assistant coach at United. Will ten Hag now take his advice? Time will tell.
By Ed Emeanua
Ex-Manchester United defender Jakob (Jaap) Stam, cautions manager Erik ten Hag to think twice before signing an over £100 million striker who might end up a huge flop.
Instead, the ex-star who won a treble with the Red Devils urges the manager to shun signing a striker on the whims of a gamble in favor of procuring a more “proven” prospect into the Man Utd fold.
Stam feels the Nigerian forward is an unproven quality in terms of the tougher Premier League terrain where he might struggle to find his feet instead of hitting the floor running.
The former United central defender favors the signing of Harry Kane who is a proven force in Tottenham Hotspurs and in the Premier League.
Manchester is hard pressed to bring in an elite-level centre-forward to Old Trafford this summer. To this end, Anthony Martial has been listed by Old Trafford for sale to finance the acquisition of a quality striker for United this summer.
Likewise, Wout Weghorst is not likely to be hired permanently when his loan agreement with Burnley expires. The lanky Dutchman appears to have his next club already secured for the next season football.
Marcus Rashford has hit the best form of his career this season, scoring an all time-best 29 goals in all competitions. But, Rashford’s highlight is in his expediency in marauding from the left wing, a remarkable quality that could be enhanced by bringing in a striker in the quality of Osimhen or Kane to take the Red Devils to the next level.
Osimhen and Kane are variously considered the two strikers Ten Hag will have to choose from. Both are not expected to come cheap but could cost well over £100m and will make a very complicated signing.
However, Stam feels the choice between Osimhen and Kane is not all difficult to make.
Stam confided to the Manchester Evening News, his concerns over the signing of Osimhen, 24, who could initially struggle to hit form in the more grueling Premier League.
However, there’d be no such worries for Kane, who is also having of one of his best ever seasons, despite the struggles of his team. In the absence of the brilliant Erling Haaland this term, Stam reckons that Kane’s 27 league goals this season would’ve still guaranteed him a seven-goal cushion ahead of Brentford’s Ivan Toney in the golden boot race.
“It’s always difficult to say which one,” confessed Stam who wore United’s colors from 1998 to 2001.
“Kane knows the Premier League very well, he’s proven himself at Spurs and he’s one of the best goal scorers in the world. He knows the level of play and what’s been expected from him and what he can bring.
“So can you bring in a player like Kane and of course you would be doing a very, very good deal for United in bringing him in. I think Osimhen, he’s a different type of player.
“For him, he needs to get acquainted to the Premier League at first. It can go fast, but it can also be a struggle at times as well.”
“Ten Hag also needs to have a look at his philosophy and the type of player that he wants to have,” continued Stam.
“Does he want to have a real strong No 9 and a target man that can hold up the ball, who can link up with other players around him as well?
“Does he want to have a small creative player with a lot of pace as well? Is he dropping in at times a little bit more? Do you want to have a player with a lot of pace up front to make a change as well in your way of playing like Rashford was doing when he played up front in transition?
“But you need to have a No 9. You need to have a different striker in the team to give you that something extra, to give you these goals.”
It has been reported that ten Hag has actually prioritized the signing of Kane over Osimhen and would only bring over the Nigerian striker to Old Trafford if the Kane signing falls through the cracks.
Stam’s advise only adds voice to the support of the choice of a Kane acquisition to Old Trafford.