‘It is a tough one’ – Brown names player who isn’t ‘obvious’ to fill Man Utd spot left by Ronaldo

Man Utd legend Wes Brown Credit: Alamy
Man Utd legend Wes Brown Credit: Alamy

Wes Brown thinks Cody Gakpo is not the “obvious” choice to fill Cristiano Ronaldo’s shoes at Man Utd but the PSV Eindhoven forward “could easily fit in”.

The Red Devils’ recruitment department are preparing for a busy January transfer window as they search for Ronaldo’s successor.

Ronaldo caused drama last month when he criticised the club, Erik ten Hag and senior executives in an interview with Piers Morgan.

That led to a mutual agreement to terminate his contract at Man Utd with both parties admitting that his time at Old Trafford was up.

Numerous forwards have been linked with Man Utd since the announcement with links to Netherlands international Gakpo, who has scored three goals at the World Cup, probably the strongest.

And Brown thinks the “obvious players are all at top clubs” and out of United’s reach with Ten Hag having to select a player like Gakpo from the level below.

“He’s a big strong lad, he has great feet,” Brown told The Metro. “It is a tough one, the obvious players are all at top clubs. But he is someone you could look at, he could easily fit into the way the manager plays.

“There is a space there to be filled and I’m pretty sure the manager will be looking at him. I just think in January, it is hard. You can pick people up but is it the guy you really want? Which you have got to be careful of.”

Man Utd will be looking at their wide players to chip in with more goals in the meantime and Brown is backing transfer flop Jadon Sancho to start firing.

Brown added: “He was a bit like this last season but the back end of the season I think he was one of our best players. He has not played for a while now and obviously you have got Garnacho coming in so there is a lot of competition.

“Players go through phases and it is a good sign that the manager is involved in the situation and helping him. Football players are humans too, it might be something on the pitch, something off it, but ultimately the team is there.

“They will try help in any way and the manager is doing that. I was young once, and you need that support around you especially when things are tough, you don’t play well every game and it does look like he needs a pick-me-up.

“The way the wingers, Antony, Garnacho and Rashford have all played, Sancho might have had more game time but they are just playing so well.

“He needs to be on that same level or better and when you’re not, you are not going to play as much. So the manager will be putting the work in getting him focused again. We all know he has got the ability to do it.”

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