Benchmarks like that don’t automatically make this United trio the best in over 50 years, of course. Their combined total this season is 61, a number comfortably surpassed by Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez in 2007/08, for example. And most importantly, goals scored by Law, Herd and Connelly and Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez were enough to win titles for United.
So far, goals scored this season by Rashford, Martial and Greenwood have only lifted United to elite third place, two domestic semi-finals and on the verge of the Europa League quarter-finals.
But one thing they have on their side is age, as does Jadon Sancho if United strike a deal for the Borussia Dortmund winger this summer, as expected. Greenwood is only 18, Sancho was recently 20, Rashford is 22 and Martial is 24. Compared to some of the other offensive tridents in the four-for-three equation in Europe, United are perhaps the most exciting in Europe.
Barcelona started the era of the iconic three forwards with their MSN attack of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, but the latter has long since left for Paris Saint-Germain, while Messi and Suarez are both 33 years old. Neymar and Kylian Mbappe make an exciting duo for PSG, but they lack a third member and some semblance of competition in France.
What Barcelona have Real Madrid must try to copy, but their BBC version of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo never quite reached the same heights, despite their Champions League successes. Bale is barely glimpsed on the pitch these days, Benzema has had a great season as Real’s only attacking leader this season, while Ronaldo is with Juventus in Serie A, who don’t have a trident of attackers to accompany its endless glow. .
Liverpool’s top three are probably the best in the world right now, but Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are all 28 years old. They are probably at their peak, the question is how long they can stay there before a gradual decline begins.
Chelsea are trying to build their own exciting attack and have supreme talent in Christian Pulisic, as well as fascinating newcomers in Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and, potentially, Kai Havertz, but this is an attack on paper only. until now. At Manchester City, Raheem Sterling is clearly world class, but last season they lacked a regular front three and there is uncertainty over Sergio Aguero’s duration.
Maybe Bayern Munich, along with Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski can compete in promise as a third forward, but the Polish striker is now 31 years old.
The reality is that no top attacking trio in Europe can match the age profile and impact of United’s trio. Add in Sancho, with 33 goal contributions in 32 Bundesliga games this season, and United would have a set of four forwards who have yet to reach their peak but have already shown outstanding promise.
If their trajectory continues as planned, it should only be a matter of time before United have one of the best three forwards in world football, with a world-class reserve as well, and the figures of 61 goals in one season. could soon be eclipsed.
Goals are winning titles now, as long as your defense isn’t a complete disaster, and there should be plenty of United forwards to come over the next few years. It’s not inconceivable that Rashford, Greenwood and Sancho could all compete for places in England’s top three at Euro 2020 next summer, with the competition to attack the national team’s slots just as competitive.
The challenge for United’s young forwards is to build on what they have achieved this season, while Sancho will have to show that his Bundesliga numbers can translate into the Premier League, but there is no reason why it does not happen and it will happen. definitely exciting to watch.