The Red Devils are expected to sign a new attacker when the January window opens after terminating Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan earlier this month.
Gakpo – who has lit up the World Cup with three goals in three games – has once again emerged as a target, with United having held tentative talks with PSV Eindhoven in the summer.
The Dutchman is capable of playing on the wing or leading the line and Stam feels United are in need of another option – and added competition – on the flanks, though has suggested there might be players United could target who are closer to the finished article.
‘Man United need a winger that can deliver a certain quality of football because Jadon Sancho isn’t delivering yet,’ Stam told Football Betting.
‘Marcus Rashford is doing very well, Antony has come in and has scored a couple of goals but I think he needs to step up because he’s not performing to the standard I know he can.
‘To be consistent, Man United need forwards who are performing in almost every game and that’s why you need to have options because if someone isn’t performing, then you’re able to bring someone else in who can.’
On Gakpo, he continued: ‘Everyone is talking about Cody Gakpo, people are going to assume that Man United are going to go for him but I don’t know if that’s the situation.
‘Gakpo would be a player that would fit into the Man United squad. There would be questions over whether he can deliver straight away because he’s from Holland and we have seen people struggle in the past.
‘The question is then, do Man United need to go for a more experienced winger that has maybe played at a certain level so that they can have an impact straight away.’
Liverpool have also been linked with Gakpo but Stam feels United have plenty of sway still, adding: ‘Man United still have the pulling power to convince Cody Gakpo to sign for them ahead of Liverpool.
‘Before the start of the season, everyone was talking about them [Liverpool] being one of the contenders to win the Premier League title and I don’t rule them out but we’re seeing that even a team like that with a lot of experience is struggling to do well.
‘Whereas, Man United have hired a new manager, new players, there’s a new plan in terms of what they’re trying to achieve and that makes it interesting for young players, especially from Holland to join Man United, one of the biggest clubs in the world and work with Erik ten Hag.’
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