Football

Is Ousmane Dembele the heir to Ronaldo at Man Utd?

Could Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele soon replace Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United? The attacker looks set to leave the Spanish outfit in the very near future.

His time in Spain has been plagued by injury. The 24-year-old has, incredibly, started just 58 of a possible 172 league matches for the Catalan club, as reported by WhoScored. The statistic is frightening considering he joined Barcelona for a £135.5m deal in 2017.

Injury-wise, the current campaign is no different. Dembele has featured just six times in La Liga. And it may be the end of the story for the France international at Barcelona. Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that the club expects the forward to be sold this month.

Dembele has been linked with several clubs throughout the January transfer window. That includes a handful of Premier League sides. But where will he end up?

Dembele to replace Cristiano Ronaldo?

Man Utd legend Cristiano Ronaldo has been as important as ever since his return to the club. He has 14 goals and three assists from his 22 matches in all competitions. But his latest tantrum after being substituted against Brentford on Wednesday has stirred up all sorts of rumours.

One of those involves the attacker making a swift exit from Old Trafford this summer. Such reports are heavily based on whether or not Man Utd can clinch a Champions League spot. If Ralf Rangnick’s men fail to do so, it has been strongly suggested that Ronaldo will look for another club.

And if that is the case, then Dembele’s name should surely be considered as a direct replacement. Exactly like Ronaldo, the forward has been playing all along the front line this season. That includes all three positions in a front three; left-wing, right-wing and centre forward.

United have a similar player in their ranks in the form of Jadon Sancho. Youngster Anthony Elanga has also proven his ability of late. But a club of their stature should always have several quality options in each position. Dembele would definitely provide that in more areas than one.

A Thomas Tuchel reunion?

Man Utd will, however, have a battle on their hands for Dembele. Premier League rivals Chelsea could also make a move for the 24-year-old.

Dembele

The Blues have struggled in all areas lately. They have won just three of their last 11 Premier League matches. But what has perhaps caused most concern is their attacking threat. Thomas Tuchel’s side has famously been hard to break down at the back, but issues have now arisen in the final third.

Romelu Lukaku’s lack of goals has been one of the main areas of concern. Timo Werner’s issues have also been there for all to see.

Tuchel may look elsewhere to strengthen his options, but one man he knows that can do extensive damage is Dembele. The attacker worked under the German during his single year at Borussia Dortmund. He played the majority of the season in attacking midfield, managing 10 goals and 21 assists from 49 matches in all competitions.

About the author

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Peter Lynch

Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Stirling, huge Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan, currently working as a freelancer.

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