After Cristiano Ronaldo fired Manchester United back into the race for the top four, Ian Wright suggested the Portuguese ace could be Arsenal’s answer to their attacking woes
The Portuguese ace dragged the Red Devils back into top four contention, after hammering a magnificent hat-trick against Norwich City. Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta’s Gunners fell to what could be a pivotal third consecutive Premier League victory.
The north Londoners lack of cutting edge in the forward areas came back to haunt them once more, as Southampton ground out a 1-0 victory on the south Coast. And Wright believes Ronaldo could be the ruthless finisher Arsenal need to maintain their push for the top four next season.
“He’s got 13 points alone from winning goals that he’s scored for them,” Wright said to Premier League productions. “That’s what you get at Man Utd.
“That’s exactly what Arsenal need, because if he wasn’t playing for United they’d be nowhere near where they are. That’s what you pay for and that’s what he’s delivered, he’s amazing.”
After entering the international break with five wins from six Premier League matches, the Gunners have now fallen to punishing defeats to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Hove Albion, and the Saints. Despite also enduring some rotten periods of form, United’s top four push appears to be back on.
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Arsenal’s loss to Southampton, coupled with Tottenham Hotspur’s shock defeat to Brighton, means the Red Devils are now only three points away from fourth position. However, things may have been ominously different for the Red Devils were it not for Ronaldo’s heroics at Old Trafford.
The former Real Madrid and Juventus ace’s three goals against Dean Smith’s side spared his side’s blushes. In fact, United’s last two victories against the east Anglians and Tottenham have all been as a result of the iconic 37-year-old grabbing a hat-trick.
Nevertheless, the No.7’s future at Old Trafford is a huge uncertainty. Various reports understand Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, who is expected to be announced as the club’s next permanent boss, has reportedly given the ‘green light’ to allow Ronaldo to depart the club.
Despite the fact Ronaldo has grabbed an impressive 21 goals in 33 appearances for the Reds this season, many of United’s woes, from their style of play to the stagnation of Marcus Rashford, have been laid at Ronaldo’s door. Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, who is expected to take up the reins at Old Trafford at the end of the season, has reportedly gave the green light for Ronaldo to leave.
The Portuguese ace will enter the final year of his two-year deal at the end of the season. And Arteta may well listen to Wright’s comments after the Spaniard decried the Gunners’ lack of end product against the Saints.
Arsenal had 23 shots against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side over the weekend but were not able to break the deadlock. While they were foiled by a magnificent performance from Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster, the Gunners would have came back with the three points had they been more clinical in the final third.