Cristiano Ronaldo expected to have even bigger goalscoring season at Juventus as Allegri changes formation to help him
CRISTIANO RONALDO is set for an even better season in front of goal with Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri plotting a formation tweak to get the best out of him.
The Italian boss, 53, won five Serie A titles in five years at the club between 2014 and 2019 – spending just one season, his last, with Ronaldo.
Since then, Ronaldo, 36, has played under Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo.
Last season, Juventus saw their nine-year Serie A title-winning run snapped by Inter Milan and also crashed out of the Champions League in the last-16 at the hands of Porto.
But Allegri is plotting a system overhaul in a bid to win back the Serie A title and finally regain the Champions League trophy last won by the Italians in 1995-96.
In 2018-19 – Ronaldo's first season at the club following his £99m move from Real Madrid and Allegri's last before deciding to take a break – the Portuguese star spent most of his time on the left wing.
Ronaldo played 26 matches on the left side of a front-three, while playing just 17 matches as a centre-forward.
Last term, he played all-but one game as a central striker and formed a lethal partnership with Alvaro Morata.
Despite his side's struggles, Ronaldo finished the 2020-21 season as the top scorer in Serie A with 29 goals.
Now Allegri wants to tweak his team's formation to a 4-4-2 to allow his biggest star to shine in that same role, according to Italian outlet Tuttosport.
With Euro 2020 star Federico Chiesa, as well as Juan Cuadrado, Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Bernardeschi on the books, Juve have plenty of wing options already.
The biggest conundrum for Allegri will revolve around Paulo Dybala.
The Argentine has long been linked with a move away but is still plugging away in Turin.
Last season he played second fiddle more often than not behind Ronaldo and Morata in the pecking order.
But in an ultra-attacking XI, Allegri could find a home for him on the wing, or even as a No10 behind the duo in a 4-4-2 diamond.
However, with Adrien Rabiot, Aaron Ramsey, Weston McKennie, Arthur and Rodrigo Bentancur as options in the heart of midfield, that seems less likely – with a role off the bench on the horizon.
With Ronaldo playing centrally, he'll provide a strong aerial presence for the wide men either nodding them in himself or simply dragging defenders away for Morata to find space.
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Not playing as a sole central striker will allow Ronaldo to drop deeper and get more involved when needed or even drift out wide and use his pace when the opportunity arises.
But above all, being in the middle will allow Ronaldo to do what he does best: score goals.
And that can only be a positive for Juventus.
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