Manchester United reportedly want to sign a striker this summer and will certainly have to if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves. According to reports, RB Salzburg’s Benjamin Šeško is high up on the club’s striker shortlist.
Date of Birth: 31/05/2003 (19)
Strong Foot: Right
Height: 1.95 m (6ft 4in)
Who is Benjamin Šeško?Embed from Getty Images
Šeško is a 19-year-old Slovenian striker currently playing his trade in Austria at RB Salzburg. The 19-year-old is very highly regarded in European football with many clubs reportedly tracking his development. He joined Salzburg in the summer of 2019 and was loaned out to Austrian second division side FC Liefering where he played for two seasons. While his first season at Liefering wasn’t particularly special, his second season there was fantastic as he registered 21 goals in 29 appearances. He returned to Salzburg last summer and he managed 11 goals and 7 assists in 37 games in all competitions last season.
He’s begun this season brilliantly. He scored 4 goals in pre-season including two against Ajax and Liverpool. He’s also already opened his account in the Austrian League after only two games.Embed from Getty Images
According to Fabrizio Romano, no official bid has been made yet but United are in contact with the representatives of the Slovenian striker. Romano reports it’s a difficult deal to do as Salzburg didn’t plan on selling Šeško till 2023 but he’s definitely on United’s list. According to James Ducker, Salzburg would want £55 million to part ways with Šeško which is way more than United would be willing to spend to bring him to Old Trafford.
At 6’’4, you’d probably expect Šeško to be your typical type of target man, however, he is so much more than that. Šeško has basically all the attributes needed to make himself a well-rounded centre-forward.
His link-up play and off-the-ball movement is a huge strength in his game. As he’s 6’’4, it’s not surprising that he’s very good aerially making him a threat in the opposition’s box from crosses and set pieces. Despite being so tall, Šeško also possesses incredible pace. His pace as well as strength and skillfulness make him a nightmare for any defender to play against.Embed from Getty Images
Šeško also has a very good first touch and while he prefers his right foot, he is very good with his left. He’s also comfortable with his back to goal and can hold up the ball well. The Slovenian teenager is also extremely intelligent both on and off the ball. He knows when to pass and when to shoot. Šeško also has the game intelligence to make the right runs and his movement off the ball is generally quite good.
Šeško is known to be prone to snatching at chances, despite striking the ball well, his finishing is rushed at times and would need development. Similarly, while he has an impressive level of technical ability, his ability to retain possession leaves a lot to be desired at times. An additional concern is that Salzburg would want a substantial fee to sell and it could be risky to invest heavily in a player who hasn’t proved himself in one of Europe’s top leagues yet, but with everything he’s shown, many would argue it’s a risk worth taking.
Where would he fit in?Embed from Getty Images
The Reds are woefully thin in attacking areas, United’s only strikers at the moment are Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Martial. Ronaldo has made it quite clear that he wants to leave the club this summer and as good as Martial can be, he’s not proven himself to be the most reliable player during his time at Old Trafford.
If United did sign Šeško, he’d be a signing for the long-term with the idea being that he’ll lead United’s front line for many years to come. But in the short term, he’d add competition as well as depth to the striker position which is something United desperately need.
There’s also the possibility United would sign him and loan him out immediately to a club in the Championship or Premier League but with the lack of options upfront, that probably wouldn’t happen unless United sign another striker in addition to Šeško this summer.
VerdictEmbed from Getty Images
United finished last season with their lowest points tally in Premier League history. Erik ten Hag basically has to rebuild the squad completely and it’s a long-term project. Šeško is exactly the sort of signing United should be looking to make. At 19 years old, he still has a long career ahead of him and is only going to get better as he gets older and gains more experience.
While he probably won’t come in and hit the ground running from day 1, he’d be a fantastic long-term investment as he could lead United’s front line for a decade. If he fulfills his potential, there’s no doubt he’ll go on to be one of the best players in the world. United should be doing everything possible to secure his signature.