The fresh Man Utd transfer target who confirms Erik ten Hag's major transfer mistake

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Man Utd are reportedly interested in Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise as they continue to struggle in front of goal.

That Michael Olise would be Manchester United's joint-top Premier League goalscorer this season says much about the problems at Old Trafford - he missed Crystal Palace's first 11 games.

A serious hamstring tear kept Olise out of action throughout pre-season and the first three months of the campaign, his return for 24 minutes against Everton in November welcomed by all at Selhurst Park. He scored in his first start and has four more since, including three in his last two.

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That run puts the 22-year-old level on Premier League goals with Scott McTominay and ahead of everyone else at United. He has more than Rasmus Hojlund, Anthony Martial, and Antony combined.

That attacking threat is why United are reportedly keen on signing Olise in the summer, once Sir Jim Ratcliffe's investment is fully ratified and he can take charge of footballing operations. The Frenchman is one of the league's most exciting young players and has the crucial end product that elite teams need.

Goals have been a problem for Erik ten Hag from the moment he arrived in Manchester and this season will be no different. Their total of 22 is better than only Burnley and Sheffield United.

They have been spread across the pitch but none have come from Antony, whose 904 minutes of Premier League football have brought neither a goal nor an assist. There was also no direct contribution in the failed Champions League or Carabao Cup campaigns.

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Ten Hag's persistence to keep playing Antony has bordered on stubbornness but it is understandable. It was he who pushed for £86million to go Ajax's way in the September of his first transfer window as United manager, despite the Dutch side being open to a deal of around £50m earlier in the summer.

The 23-year-old was dropped to the bench for the 3-2 win over Aston Villa after Christmas but found his way back into the starting line-up at Nottingham Forest. He failed to register a single shot on target in 53 minutes before being replaced by Amad Diallo, who did manage to test Matt Turner.

A move for Olise - exclusively a right-winger - would be bad news for Antony but it would also be bad news for Ten Hag. It would effectively confirm the failure of his marquee signing at United.

It could also signal a shift in power regarding recruitment. Up until now, United's signings have been dictated by Ten Hag - it is why so many incomings have played under the Dutchman in the past. But with Ratcliffe and his team taking power, they can bring in a recruitment strategy of their own.

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Most would admit that such developments would be a positive thing for the club. Manager-specific recruitment can be effective in the short-term but when they eventually leave - and they always do in the modern era - successors can be left with players who do not suit their needs. The presence of an over-riding strategy, if done right, would bring continuity to the squad regardless of who is in charge. That is the priority for Ratcliffe and his team to address, and a summer move for Olise would signal their intentions.

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