5 strikers who were forced to play as wingers?

  • Some players had to sacrifice their natural positions for the better of the team...
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Modified 25 Nov 2017, 12:25 IST

Juventus v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final
Mandzukic scored via an overhead kick in the CL final last season

We often see wingers being transformed into forwards as a means to maximize their scoring potential. This is what happened with Cristiano Ronaldo as the Real Madrid star was once a winger who blasted in from the flanks to cause all kinds of problems to the opponents.

Meanwhile, there have been cases where pure strikers have been forced to play as wingers in order to accommodate a more potent goalscorer in the middle. Over the years, with the tendency of playing with two strikers diminishing, managers have shunted center-forwards on the wings in order to maximize the scoring potential of their team.

Jose Mourinho has done it, Pep Guardiola too – and so has Max Allegri and Laurent Blanc. So here are 5 strikers that had to play on the wings…

#5 Mario Mandzukic

If a list of underrated strikers is complied, then Mario Mandzukic’s name would be among the entrants. The Croat is a well-built striker who has a tendency of scoring important goals. His physique and ability to bring team-mates into play makes him a perfect target man for any team that he plays for.

Unless, of course, for Max Allegri. At Juventus now, Mandzukic has to play on the wings and shield that flank from attacking threats. Mandzukic’s tendency to press defenders and work his socks off mean that the former Atletico man is the perfect foil for a role such as that.

Another reason – the main one – is the presence of Gonzalo Higuain in attack. In order to accommodate the Argentine, Allegri has to bench the former Bayern man or play him on the flanks – and he opted for the latter.

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Published 25 Nov 2017, 12:25 IST
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