Manchester United have impressed this season, winning their first trophy in six years with a League Cup final victory at Wembley over Newcastle United in February, and they could still technically win all four competitions they entered this season.
Erik ten Hag still has improvements to make however, with the side seemingly needing a world-class striker to give them the 30 goals a season boost that could make them genuine Premier League title contenders, and a move for Tottenham Hotspur captain Harry Kane has been mooted.
According to the Daily Mail, United are keen on signing the Englishman at the end of the season and there is little doubt the marksman would strengthen their attacking department.
Spurs have valued him at around £85m and this may prove too much for the Dutchman to spend. In fact, the boss may already have his answer to Kane in the United academy, with young striker Joe Hugill impressing recently.
Who is Joe Hugill?
United signed the youngster from Sunderland in 2020 and he has proven to be a fine piece of business for the club, especially with his excellent record in the youth teams.
The 19-year-old has scored 40 goals in 69 games for the U18, U19, and U21 sides during his spell at the Red Devils and he could be the out-and-out striker that Ten Hag is looking for.
Indeed, he has been likened to Kane with his style of play. Hugill isn’t the fastest player but knows exactly where the goal is and he is also the same height (6 foot 2) as the Spurs hitman, with a solid ability in the air.
His link-up play and ability to hold the ball up are also key strengths, similar to that of Kane’s and the next 12 months could be a crucial time in his development.
In 77 youth games at club level, Hugill has scored 44 goals and this means that the gem is averaging a goal every 1.75 matches – compared to Kane’s 1.7 goals per outing at club level in his career – suggesting that the youngster has the potential to be a prolific scorer.
U18 manager Travis Binnion heaped praise on the striker late last year, saying: “So for his first two games back [from injury] to be against Real Betis and Bolton’s first team, he’s been thrown in the deep end, and he’s done fine. He’s only going to get better and do better, so he needs and deserves a little bit of fortune.”
The teen gem may be boosted by the fact that Ten Hag has given youngsters such as Alejandro Garnacho, Anthony Elanga, and Facundo Pellistri opportunities this term and with the Dutchman clearly needing another central attacking option, Hugill may just be the next player to make his senior bow.
Therefore, the head coach could unearth his own version of Kane, saving the club £85m in the process, by unleashing the teen centre-forward next term.
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