Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing for Real Madrid next season, leaving a 91-goals-in-the-past-three-seasons-sized hole in United’s attacking line-up. He’ll be missed, sure, but not that much. Not when you’ve got £80m in your back pocket and the whole planet to scour for a replacement. And while the likes of Karim Benzema, Frank Ribery and David Silva are the most likely primary targets, with £80m big ones to go to town with United could easily bring in a couple more.

Here FHM looks at some suggestions thrown up buy the all-knowing Championship Manager super computer, which, when prompted, suggested replacing Ronaldo like-for-like. So here are five players who are great at scoring goals, but not so great at passing or tracking back, and have won nothing at international level.

Douglas Costa

Nationality: Brazilian
Age:
18
Club:
Grêmio
Value:
£10 million
Position:
Attacking midfielder

Justification:
Like Ronaldo, a versatile attacking player who is comfortable through the middle or on the wing and is also a free-kick specialist. He perhaps isn’t as fast as Ronaldo, but is full of trickery and loves to run at defenders. He has an excellent shot on him and with a buyout clause of just €21 million he would present an affordable alternative.

 

Sebastian Giovinco

Nationality: Italian
Age:
22
Club:
Juventus
Value: £10 million
Position:
Attacking midfielder

Justification:
Aged 22 but only 5ft 4” tall, Giovinco has been protected by Juventus due to his lack of size, yet he possesses exquisite technical gifts and is a hugely promising player. Giovinco is a talented playmaker with fantastic dribbling skills due to his low centre of gravity. He also has ability from free kicks. He has represented Italy at every youth level from U-16s upwards.

 

Alan Dzagoev

Nationality: Russian
Age:
18
Club:
CSKA Moscow
Value:
£7 million
Position:
Attacking midfielder

Justification:
Aged only 18, Dzagoev took Russia by storm as he became a first team regular for CSKA Moscow last season. Dzagoev is technically gifted, quick and can score goals. He is also dangerous from set pieces. He has played mainly as an attacking midfielder or a second striker, but would also be capable of playing wide due to his pace.

Javier Pastore

Nationality: Argentinian
Age:
19
Club:
CA Huracán (on loan from CA Talleres Córdoba)
Value:
£3 million
Position:
Attacking midfielder

Justification:
An all around attacking midfielder who combines creativity with the physical side of the game. He is a technically gifted player who passes with precision, shoots with accuracy and head the ball well. Some say he is the best young player in Argentina at the moment.

Miralem Pjanic

Nationality: Bosnian
Age:
19
Club:
Olympique Lyonnais of France
Value:
£8 million
Position:
Attacking midfielder


Justification:
He’s also a versatile player like Ronaldo and can play on the left, right, or through the middle. He was a regular in the Metz team aged just 17 and has excellent pace and technique.

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