A Look at How Wayne Rooney Would Fit in Tactically at Arsenal

It was today revealed that Wayne Rooney certainly did hand in a transfer request recently, and his actions resulted in him being omitted from Sir Alex Ferguson’s final home game of his career. Speaking to the BBC, Ferguson confirmed Rooney’s actions and quickly responded to the club’s reaction.”We have refused it.” With Ferguson on his way out, however, it’ll no longer be his problem, and incoming manager David Moyes will have his first big transfer to handle. Moyes, who first gave Wayne Rooney a chance at Everton as a 16 year old, will have a massive decision to make, but it seems as if Rooney is already set on his decision after handing in his second transfer request of his Manchester United career.

We’ve already taken a look at how and if Rooney would fit in at Chelsea, but we’re now going to take a look at what Rooney could mean to Arsenal tactically if he did make a move to the red side of North London. Robin Van Persie’s move the other way this summer helped prove that nothing is impossible in the Premier League. A clearly unhappy Rooney will now be looking for his next challenge, and a move to London, if he stays in England, would make sense compared to the Premier League’s other footballing cities.

So how and where would Rooney foot in at Arsenal? Rooney has proven time and time again that he can play both as a target man because of his size and strength but also as a withdrawn striker who is capable of dropping off and making things happen from deeper positions. He’s made 27 appearances for United this season and probably won’t be making any more considering there’s only one match left, so let’s take a look at his season’s contribution. From his 27 appearances, he only played 13 full matches, coming on as a sub in 5 matches and being subbed off in 9. His return in that time? 12 goals and 10 assists. A look at Santi Cazorla’s stats this year for Arsenal show that he played 36 matches, scored 12 goals and assisted 7 times. Lukas Podolski who has played in 31 Premier league matches this season has returned 9 goals and 9 assists, mostly from a wide left position. Olivier Giroud, who has played as a target man throughout the season for Arsenal has featured 33 times in the League, scoring 11 goals and assisting 3 times. Rooney, despite being a striker, has numbers slightly more in tune with that of a midfielder and would certainly provide a strong presence in Arsenal’s attack.

Wayne Rooney in a 4-5-1

Tactically,  a look at Arsenal’s formation shows that the English international could fit in multiple ways. Sticking with Arsene Wenger’s 4-5-1 formation, Rooney could feature as a target man that could drop in and interchange with Walcott throughout matches. As stated and shown by his numbers this season, Rooney is capable of dropping off and creating goal-scoring opportunities. When in central areas, he’s more than capable of scoring, but his ability to bring others into the play is also exceptional. A look at the image shows that with Cazorla behind Rooney and Walcott and Podolski in wide areas, Arsenal’s attack could become even more dynamic than it is currently. Though Olivier Giroud has done well in his debut season, he’s also shown that he’s not the world-class option that has been so often associated with Arsenal’s frontmen during the Wenger era. Rooney has proven over the years that he is a world-class talent. Some will wonder if he’s past his prime, but a tried and tested Premier League talent who has proven himself at the highest level could be a welcome figure to Wenger’s side.

Rooney in a 4-4-2

Another option Wenger would have if Rooney was available for selection would be a more classic 4-4-2. Once again, Rooney could  feature as a more withdrawn figure in the lineup, with another striker acting as the proper target man. Podolski or Giroud could be that target while Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, and Mikel Arteta would fight for places in the center of midfield. Walcott and Cazorla would provide differing but interesting wide options in the attack. Many teams have shifted away from a traditional 4-4-2 in the modern game, but Rooney’s roll could essentially turn into more of a fifth midfielder in this formation and revert back to a 4-5-1.

Whether or not Rooney actually leaves United is yet to be determined, and whether or not he joins a team in England or Arsenal is even a bigger uncertainty. One thing is for sure, though, Arsenal will need to sign several players if they do expect to compete for the title next year. It would certainly be an amazing story if Rooney did indeed join Arsenal and the club went on to win the League next year. Will Moyes even consider selling one of his prize assets to a rival club in the Premier League? We’re yet to find out, but it would make things very interesting in North London if he did choose to do business with Arsenal.

(stats via Squawka.com)

22 Comments on "A Look at How Wayne Rooney Would Fit in Tactically at Arsenal"

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It will b a great signing 4 Arsenal

  2. asmel oyex says:

    I tink wayne mark roony wil b a perfect adtion

  3. roony we be a great signin ever 4 arsenal sofer says:


  4. I would be a fantastic signing for Arsenal this summer

  5. mc gooner says:

    never ever gonna happen

  6. gooner4lyife says:

    Giroud will play with rooney in a 4-4-2 and rooney will play the CAM like Muller at bayern with Grioud up front cazorla on the left and walcott on the right with wilshere/ramsey with arteta in the CDM position

  7. mr says:

    he is world class player and he can add more
    I prefer to play like this






    why I prefer giroud up front is
    coz he makes more good moves and he makes more 1,2
    he is target man
    and he make busy the devence and give more chance roney

  8. ubatgoonergooner says:

    A massive signing and the fans would be extremely happy but just a dream. Arsenal would not pay his high wages.

  9. delusion says:

    there is no way rooney goes to arsenal

  10. Rob says:

    It would make more sense than your post… That’s for sure.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Arsenal website.com

  12. Ademola A. Adebayo says:

    Rooney to Arsenal? Hw possible is it, can a Arsenal pay his wages, the answer ia NO, so don’t debate about imposible player move to Arsenalfc again.

  13. Charlie says:

    It seems unlikely but if he joined Arsenal I think he would be best in the target man role. He could do everything that Giroud does now but better so I think it would be an excellent purchase. Wenger has said in recent years that he wants a British spine to the team and Rooney would certainly add to that philosphy. Still a long way to go before we can claim to have a British spine but one step at a time.

  14. I blive Arsenal can’t buy ROONY do2 his £200+ wages,S.Kronki is nt redy 2brks his wages strture yeth,but USMANOV can do.

  15. A gunner says:

    We will luv to bring Rooney to arsenal .he and giroud will form a lethal pair …..provided if Arsenal pay his wages ….and Giroud will get a chance to prove himself

  16. Abhay says:

    There is a reason why Wenger plays a 4-3-3, he likes to attack from the wings. But with that in mind, he will always look for a taller man as the main striker, as often his fullbacks find plenty of space to cross. You could see Sagna’s confusion while crossing in these last 3 games when Giroud was missing.
    Playing Rooney upfront does not make sense in a 4-3-3, and the only way Wenger would play another striker would be if Rooney could track back well….which we saw clearly against Madrid and Italy in the Euros, that Wayne can’t

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