Manchester United given 'perfect' Niclas Fullkrug verdict as Erik ten Hag eyes up transfer plan

Niclas Fuellkrug of Germany applauds the fans following his team's loss in the UEFA EURO 2024 quarter-final match between Spain and Germany at Stuttgart Arena on July 5, 2024 in Stuttgart, Germany.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Kevin Voigt/GettyImages)


Manchester United have been told to stay away from Borussia Dortmund and Germany striker Niclas Fullkrug despite the 'perfect' 31-year-old's impressive 2024 European Championships campaign.

Fullkrug's two goals at the tournament, one against Scotland in their 5-1 rout and the other a 91st-minute equaliser against Switzerland that helped them top the group, on top of his standout substitute performances have landed him plaudits across the continent as Julian Nagelsmann's side exited the competition at the quarter-final stage following their 2-1 extra time loss to Spain on Friday afternoon.

Whilst they're yet to get their summer transfer window underway, there have been calls for Man United boss Erik ten Hag to go after Fullkrug, who many see as an old-fashioned centre-forward in a ever-increasing world of tactical micro management. With the departure of Anthony Martial, and potentially Marcus Rashford, it leaves United with Rasmus Hojlund - an exciting but relatively raw prospect - and no real experience going forward.

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Many are claiming Fullkrug could be that answer, given Ten Hag's public and private annoyance at the limitations he had to choose from going forward throughout last season and his impressive goalscoring record at both club and international level. Fullkrug has four goals at major tournaments, all off the bench, and 13 goals in 21 senior caps for Germany alongside 51 goals over the last three seasons for both Werder Bremen and Dortmund.

On top of that, United have already done business with Dortmund in recent windows having facilitated the loan move of winger Jadon Sancho to the Bundesliga side, who is set to return to Carrington next week. However, speaking exclusively as part of bet365’s Euro 2024 coverage, former Premier League defender and Germany international Markus Babbel believes that Fullkrug isn't the answer to Ten Hag's issues going forward.

He claimed: "It depends on how you want to play. If you know you have to play with crosses then he's the perfect player because he's very good in the air and so strong.

"Fans love him because he's normal. He's not a superstar. He's not doing crazy things. So the supporters love him and I think it's a fantastic option to have. Kai Havertz is very skilful. He's a different kind of striker. Niclas Fullkrug is the typical number nine.

"He's not skilful but he’s so strong in the box and he’s a perfect number nine. I'm not sure if he's this good to play for a massive club like Manchester United, but he can definitely play in the Premier League."