When it comes to strikers and Dundee United, the future looks bright. Problem is in the now.
Despite having what on paper looks a talented crop so far this term, just one goal — Simon Murray’s injury-time clincher at Motherwell — has come from a front man.
That’s why Jackie McNamara is scouring the transfer market and hopes to bring in another attacker before the window closes next week.
Long-time target Billy McKay of Wigan has been the subject of another bid and it’s understood the gaffer is considering a couple of further options.
What Jackie needs is a player who can hit the ground running. That may see United splash the cash and fork out a fee for a player who’s been playing regularly so far this term.
If he gets his man and the quick fix is provided, it shouldn’t be taken as a sign he’s lost faith in the men already in the squad. He knows they’ll come good.
Fifa Goal-of-the-Year candidate Robbie Muirhead looks to have many good years ahead of him, while Murray and Aidan Connolly also look to be ones with a lot to contribute.
Problem with that trio is they are at a stage in their development where, in terms of form, peaks and troughs are inevitable.
Moving to the slightly older generation, Ryan Dow and Mario Bilate have reached a point in their careers where it can be reasonably expected of them to produce goals on a consistent basis.
Trouble right now is both have had fitness concerns. Since he arrived from the Netherlands last summer, Bilate has been dogged by hamstring injuries.
They restricted him to 16 appearances in a debut season that saw him spend more time on the treatment table than on the park.
Things looked encouraging during pre-season and, after good displays on the Dutch tour and against English outfits QPR, where he scored, and Watford, it seemed he would be the man to lead the attack in the Premiership.
Unfortunately, another bout of hamstring trouble forced him off after just 45 minutes of the opener against Aberdeen — he hasn’t played since.
At least with Dow there’s a ray of hope. After seeing last term come to a premature end because of a pelvic problem, his hopes of being ready for the start of this campaign were crushed, almost literally, by a collision with the Vitesse Arnhem goalkeeper less than 10 minutes into the pre-season games.
That left him with a swollen knee but it’s been on the mend and he did come off the bench to make a second-half contribution against Celtic last Saturday.
And that could be good news in terms of more than just goals, because the 24-year-old has shown in the past, often on the biggest of occasions, he can be a provider of chances as well as a taker.
Last but not least, the Tangerines are also confident that, once he’s fully fit again and settled into life in Scottish football, Darko Bodul can be a goal source as well.
After missing a big chunk of pre-season because he didn’t have a club, Bodul’s quest for full match fitness was temporarily halted last week when he went over an ankle in training.
There remains, though, genuine belief that once the Austro-Croat’s settling-in period is over, he can go a long way to filling the void left by the departure of the top scorer of the past two seasons, Nadir Ciftci.
Like the now-Celtic attacker, Bodul is not simply a penalty-box poacher.
The manager sees him as a player who’ll link well with others and help increase the flow of goals from midfield.
Right now, though, a new signing could be the answer. So for Arabs out there it’s a case of watch this space.