Three ways for Manchester United to tackle striker crisis against Watford

Louis Van Gaal

Manchester United face a challenge against Watford this weekend.

Manchester United's away game against Watford this weekend has been made more difficult by the club's injury problems.

The club's official website has confirmed key players will miss the fixture, Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Maroune Fellaini.

Rooney and Martial are the club's first choice strikers, while Fellaini has been deployed as an emergency forward this season.

Against a Watford side who inflicted a first away defeat to West Ham last time out, getting all three points will be a challenge which Louis van Gaal has to figure out how to solve.

Here are three ways the Red Devils can tackle their striker crisis...

James Wilson

Manchester United resisted loan enquiries for striker James Wilson for this exact reason. The England under-21 international is highly rated and this could be his big chance to make an impact this season. The only concern is his fitness, with Louis van Gaal telling United's website Wilson was not ready to play 90 minutes, so he could look at an alternative and use Wilson from the bench.

Wilson has already scored in the Premier League during his short career so far, and is the most logical option to play in terms of being most suited to the position, fitness permitting.

Memphis Depay

Big name summer signing Memphis Depay has underwhelmed so far, and recently lost his place in the side. There would be no better way for him to ingratiate himself back into his manager's good books than by stepping up when the club need him most. Speaking at his press conference in July when he was unveiled, he talked up his ability to play up front, quoted by The Mirror stating: "I'm excited about scoring goals and giving assists. I'm a striker."

Back in July, Louis van Gaal also talked up the possibility, telling the Manchester Evening News: "It is also one of the reasons that we have bought Memphis because maybe you remember that he has played in the striker’s position also in the Dutch team. That was also new for him. He learns very quickly."

Jesse Lingard

An alternate option for United is to play Depay on the wing and start Jesse Lingard up front. Through his career in the club's academy he demonstrated ability to play across the frontline, and last season said in an interview with sponsors Aon: "I like to play in midfield or as a striker but I’ll play wherever the boss asks me to play."

Lingard lacks the height but is full of confidence, and has shown through his career for England's under-21s, and on loan in the Championship that he has an eye for goal, also netting the opener in the Premier League against West Brom last time around.

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