Manchester United will find the process of getting a Cristiano Ronaldo replacement “particularly difficult”, according to James Robson. This comes in the wake of rumours surrounding the Portuguese forward flaring up again following the Red Devils’ poor start to the 2022/23 season.
The Difficulties of Finding a Cristiano Ronaldo Replacement
Cristiano Ronaldo situation. Jorge Mendes' still working to find a solution, potential last-minute transfer as one year ago – Cristiano's priority has always been to leave Man Utd this summer 🚨🇵🇹 #MUFC
Man Utd insist he's not for sale – Jorge Mendes keeps exploring options. pic.twitter.com/DEUEEfX3yr
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 16, 2022
Why is a Cristiano Ronaldo Replacement Necessary?
According to Fabrizio Romano, Jorge Mendes is actively working on a move for his client, Cristiano Ronaldo. A move is becoming increasingly likely due to a range of factors, including Manchester United’s lack of Champions League football and poor performances to start the season.
Losing the multiple Ballon d’Or winner would demand a replacement for the Red Devils. By losing the forward, the club would have Anthony Martial remaining as the only option at centre-forward. Getting more players in is a necessity, as playing Christian Eriksen as a false nine was proven to be a flawed strategy against Brighton & Hove Albion.
What are Manchester United Looking For?
Whilst Cristiano Ronaldo is a straightforward number nine, a similar replacement isn’t necessarily the case. The Old Trafford hierarchy has been considering some poacher options. Good finishing is required, as the club’s only goal of the season so far came when Alexis Mac Allister put the ball in his own net.
In addition to completing attacking moves, Manchester United need a player that can start them. The Portuguese superstar is far from a creator of chances. By replacing pure finishing with a hybrid player, the Old Trafford side benefits from opening up more opportunities. Furthermore, this suits the way that Erik ten Hag likes to play.
Which Players Suit Erik ten Hag’s Needs?
Doing business at the end of a transfer window is difficult in any circumstance. When that business is replacing a contender for the greatest player of all time, it gets even harder. With players such as Darwin Nunez, Romelu Lukaku, Richarlison and Erling Haaland having already made their moves, the market for young and emerging attacking talent is slimmer and slimmer.
If Ten Hag chooses a player that works as a playmaker, Alvaro Morata at Juventus is looking like one of the main options. The Spaniard has plenty of experience playing in deeper roles. Whilst Morata lacks the finishing instinct, his chance creation is a major asset to a side without a creative edge.
A preference for an out-and-out finisher will cause more issues. Jamie Vardy would be the most likely option for a pure finisher. However, his addition could worry fans as this indicates a slow return to the years of signing 30+-year-old strikers on high wages. Replacing Ronaldo is a difficult task, and striking anything but a perfect balance could harm the team further.