Sunday, October 1, 2023

How Arsenal could lineup after the World Cup with huge Cristiano Ronaldo transfer decision

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Arsenal have been urged to sign Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo in an attempt to help their push for a Premier League title this season. It comes after the 37-year-old claimed he felt “betrayed” by his current employers in an interview, feeling as though he has been pushed out of the club.

The Portugal international has been something of a peripheral figure so far this campaign under new boss Erik ten Hag, often limited to substitute appearances and Europa League starts. Incidents such as leaving the ground before the end of the match against Tottenham have seen him dropped from the squad too.

It’s led to a tense situation at United, where the interview could be the boiling point to an exit, something the Gunners could look to take advantage of. The side have shared goals around, but they still lack a central figure for them, especially since Gabriel Jesus has made it ten appearances without a goal now.

While it is unlikely that Arsenal would make such a move, here’s a look at how they could lineup should they make a switch for the striker.

In the current system

Ronaldo could fit into the position currently held by Jesus, sitting as a lone striker but as part of what is essentially a front five at times when the team are pushed high. The starting lineup begins in a 4-3-3, but throughout the game it can morph to look more like a 2-3-5 as the side look to play through the opposition.

The forward may struggle to fit the exact role required by Arteta though, with Jesus often asked to press hard throughout the duration of the match.

Off the left

Some of Ronaldo’s great success in his career has often been starting on the left flank, being able to cause problems on the byline as well as cutting inside. He could offer something in that type of position for the Gunners, though it would likely be at the expense of Gabriel Martinelli or Emile Smith Rowe.

In a front two

Ronaldo could offer something in a front two with Jesus, alleviating some of the pressing responsibilities that would come from the current system. However, this could later result in one less midfield body that could join the attack, with the positioning looking more like a 2-4-4 than the 2-3-5 that has caused many overloads to open up opposition defences.

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