Why Man Utd are interested in deadly Frankfurt hitman Andre Silva

Paul Macdonald
Why Man Utd are interested in deadly Frankfurt hitman Andre Silva

Manchester United seem to have found their ideal forward line, in the medium term at least. Edinson Cavani has made a positive impact since arriving on a free transfer in the summer, after leaving Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. But at the age of 33, the Uruguayan cannot be relied upon forever, and with neither Marcus Rashford nor Anthony Martial likely to pick up the goalscoring baton and Mason Greenwood still developing, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may need to recruit more firepower in the summer.

One potential target he could be lining up is Portuguese striker Andre Silva, who has been on fire with Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt this season. Goal have suggested that he could be on the move to Old Trafford.

While on current form, it is clear why Silva is attracting the attention of potential suitors, the 25-year-old has rebuilt his career in Germany. After impressing at FC Porto, he spent three years at AC Milan but only scored twice in 25 Serie A games; his form didn’t pick up until a loan spell at Frankfurt last season, and he has carried that run on since making the move permanent last year. With 18 goals in just 20 matches, Silva is among the most in-form strikers around and is challenging Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski for the domestic Golden Boot this season.

In fact, Silva has matched Lewandowski for shots on target this season, with only the Pole registering more attempts, as can be seen on the graphic below. With Bruno Fernandes, his international teammate, creating the most big chances in the Premier League this season, 16, it is clear that the Frankfurt hitman would get the service he thrives on were he to join Manchester United in the summer.

Why Man Utd are interested in deadly Frankfurt hitman Andre Silva

Why Man Utd are interested in deadly Frankfurt hitman Andre Silva

But whether Solskjaer does attempt to sign him could depend on how he compares to his prospective competition. With Rashford making the wide left position his own this season and Greenwood only starting 12 league games this season, it is most relevant to compare him with Cavani, who has scored six Premier League goals this season, and Martial, who has four to his name.

Quite clearly, Silva is out performing both in terms of the number of goals. But he is also better in terms of efficiency. As a caveat, Cavani has only started eight league games this term, and averages 2.6 shots per game with just over one on target per 90 minutes. This is still below Silva’s record on both counts; he averages 3.8 strikes at goal per game and two on target in the Bundesliga. Martial, who has played out wide at times this season as well as spending some time on the periphery of the first team, has a slightly better record than Cavani with 2.6 shots per game 1.2 on target, albeit from almost double the number of games.

Given that Silva is outperforming both in all main facets of box play for strikers, as well as being at the optimum age to improve and remain at a high level for some time, there is little doubt that he’d be a great addition to Solskjaer’s side.