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Is Jose Mourinho looking to bring back the classic striker partnership?

Friday 28th April 2017
For many years now we seem to have lived in a world where teams only played one orthodox striker. The days of 4-4-2 with a partnership up front are gone and now the number of teams using the classic tactic are few and far between. However, could Jose Mourinho be looking at bringing the striker partnership style of play back?
The football season is drawing to a close and reaching an ever exciting conundrum and that means one thing is just around the corner. It is, of course, the summer transfer window, which means a barrage of rumours and hearsay through all newspaper tabloids and social media. One link that doesn't seem to go away is French football star Antoine Griezmann making a sensational move to Old Trafford. Reports claim Jose Mourinho has identified the player as the star attacker he needs to spearhead his title charge at Manchester United, not a bad choice at all if true! This week it has been newly reported that Mourinho is also keen to bring Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata to Manchester along with Griezmann and in turn partner the two together.

A striker partnership that would no doubt strike fear into most defences in the Premier League and beyond. If it is indeed true and the Portuguese manager wants both players it would be a bold move to play two strikers of their ilk in the same 11 even if it only meant one would be at number 9.
During his first season at Manchester United Mourinho has predominantly deployed a formation involving just one out and out striker. This has of course been Zlatan Ibrahimovic and even if there has indeed been another striker on the pitch such as Marcus Rashford or even club captain Wayne Rooney they have played as a winger or number 10 respectively. The chances of seeing two players up front at Old Trafford are very slim. It doesn't fit what Mourinho wants from his sides and if a second striker is played they have a defensive responsibility to uphold. But the links of bringing both Griezmann and Morata to the club suggest that Mourinho would be ready to let the shackles loose and allow a more attacking flow at The Theatre of Dreams.

Neither player is accustomed to playing a tracking back type of role even if deployed out wide, and Griezmann's outings at number 10 still involve him being the main goal threat at Atletico.

The two players could complement one another superbly, both have pace and an eye for goal and are very gifted technically too. It would be fantastic to once again see a duo up top that both work alongside one another so well as we have done in the past in the Premier League. Cole and Yorke, Shearer and Sutton are just two partnerships that when deployed together struck fear in the opposition. Both players actually manage to improve when played together and alone they lost a bit of potency at times. Mourinho could well be hoping to install the next Premier League strike duo to add to the list of greats and we could well be talking about Griezmann and Morata in the same breath as those other frightful pairings.

Whatever happens in the summer Mourinho is all but certain to buy at least one forward to bolster his otherwise goal shy Red Devils and if reports are to be believed he could be keen to bring in two of top world class ilk.

A scary thought for a team that already have great attacking talents at their disposal, only time will tell.
Ryan Stewart

23 years old, Sport Journalism graduate living in Salford. Work in web content in Media city and always looking to break in to sports writing. Manchester United season ticket holder.


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