Carragher's James Wilson comments suggest United youngster is not the short-term answer to ageing striker issues

Old Trafford Statues

Former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher believes Manchester United will have to spend big on new strikers in the future despite the presence of James Wilson.

Ex-Liverpool player Jamie Carragher put the cat among the pigeons on Saturday when he suggested that Manchester United were not too far away from having to spend big on some new striking options.

At first glance, the comment appeared strange when you consider that Louis van Gaal currently has three of the best at his disposal in the form of Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie.  And yet it was that trio's age that prompted Carragher's comments in his Daily Mail column.

All either in or approaching their thirties, United's strike-force could well be deemed as aging at an alarming (if natural) rate. But fans would be quick to highlight the presence of the next generation of strikers coming through at the club - most notably James Wilson and Will Keane but also Angelo Henriquez - who is impressing on loan this season.

Carragher was asked about Wilson on Twitter on Saturday morning, but the pundit suggested the youngster's presence would not prevent the club from jumping back into the transfer market in due course.

'Yes, James Wilson looks promising,' Carragher wrote, 'but in a year or so (United) will still have to spend big again because of age of current strikers.'

The problem with United is that they do not have any forwards in that middle-ground, players in their early twenties who already have a good amount of experience but also years in which to improve. Instead they either have world-class strikers with plenty of experience or youngsters just starting out in the senior game.

Wilson is famous at United for playing above his age-group time and again, so it could be that the teenager does become United's next great goal-scorer in a similar way that Michael Owen did for Liverpool and Rooney did for both Everton and United.

But Carragher's comments are interesting when you consider that plenty would have assumed United's front-line would take care of itself...but perhaps not for as long as first thought.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch