Hammer Jesse Lingard is ready for a false nine role to ease pressure on Michail Antonio when he needs to be rested.
Although the 30-year-old Mikey is hoped to fit for Monday’s game against Sheffield United, he didn’t seem the same player against Fulham and some have doubted his match fitness. David Moyes has said his only striker faces a late fitness test before Monday for the London Stadium evening game.
The manager has already lost Andriy Yarmolenko to a knee ligament issue, he was being considered as Antonio’s striker back up cover.
The Gaffer is now likely to deploy a false nine with Jesse Lingard the most likely candidate for the role.
Pep Guardiola’s tenure as Barcelona’s head defined thee term in the modern game when he moved Lionel Messi from the right to the center and made him play as The False 9 . The false 9 is essentially a striker who drops deeps,i.e he drifts back into midfield rather than staying around the penalty box for various tactical reasons.
Last month Moyes told reporters “You get in a situation, you play with a false nine and you can do that. You have to start being creative and certainly Pep’s been that with what he’s done at Man City, and who knows if we don’t have anybody, we will need to start being creative ourselves here.”
Earlier this month the manager hinted he could deploy Lingard as a false nine by saying “I could play him (Jesse Lingard) as a false nine if I needed, the way Manchester City have played quite often with no centre forwards.:”