ANOTHER season, another struggle for Manchester United.
Now under the leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – the club's fourth permanent boss since Sir Alex Ferguson retired – the lack of competitiveness continues.
For years it was thought to be United's defence, or lack thereof, that was holding the club back.
Harry Maguire joining in an £85million move this summer, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka didn't come cheaply either, at £50m.
And yet the struggles continue – with Man Utd already seven points behind league-leaders Liverpool after just four matches.
Simply put, the Red Devils lack a clinical, prolific striker – with Anthony Martial their leading man with an average of just 0.31 goals per game.
That is staggeringly poor for a leading man in a team desperately lacking a cutting edge.
Romelu Lukaku was sold this summer, much to the delight of supporters, but at least he had a genuine eye for goal – a fact he proved for eight years in the Premier League.
For contect, the Belgian – now on the books of Inter Milan – boasted a Premier League goals per game record of 0.45
Eyebrows were raised earlier this week when England boss Gareth Southgate revealed he didn't believe Marcus Rashford was good enough to be a starting central striker.
But perhaps he had a point, with the Man Utd ace averaging a mere 0.25 goals per game.
Paul Pogba (0.24), Juan Mata (0.21) and Jesse Lingard (0.15) have been the back-up crew in recent years when it comes to goals – but their records are desperately poor.
So it's hardly any wonder Solskjaer is leaning on a unproven, untested 21-year-old rookie in Daniel James.
The Welsh star has scored three goals in his first four Premier League games since his summer switch from Swansea.
In a very small sample size, James – who scored Wales' winner against Belarus on Monday – is scoring 0.75 goals per game – that's better than Sergio Aguero's 0.7 tally.
But the ratios of the likes of Rashford, Martial and Pogba will continue to be a concern.
The likes of Mohamed Salah (0.65 goals per game), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (0.66) and Harry Kane (0.69) are all miles ahead.
Sadio Mane, Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Jesus, Roberto Firmino, Olivier Giroud, Son Heung-min and Raheem Sterling are all star names to rank above the United crop.
Man Utd may be saving up all their money to launch an audacious bid for England whizkid Jadon Sancho next summer.
But they really may be better off finding a lethal finisher and spending big to secure him – or it could be another season of startling mediocrity at the so-called Theatre of Dreams.Man Utd academy star Deji Sotona has amazing speed and skill for a 16 year old
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