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Cristiano Ronaldo was rumoured to be unsettled at Juventus and wanting to leave Italian football this summer.
When the news broke about his imminent departure from Turin, there was only one club who could seemingly afford the player and needed a top striker. That club was Manchester City.
Welcome 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲, @Cristiano 🔴#MUFC | #Ronaldo
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 27, 2021
The news broke to the horror of Manchester United fans, who considered Ronaldo a legend of the club. The legacy of the Portuguese forward would have been tainted forever if he was to move to the Etihad Stadium but it appeared as though the deal was done.
Then, in a remarkable breakthrough on Friday evening, the news broke about a deal with Manchester United and Ronaldo has agreed to make a return to Old Trafford in shock move.
Once the dust settles and the euphoria of his return to Manchester United dies down, will Ronaldo be the man to lead Manchester United back to the top of English and European football?
Ronaldo is clearly not the same player he was when he left Manchester United in 2009 for Real Madrid. The pace, dribbling ability, agility, and unpredictability is nothing like it was when Ronaldo was at his best for Manchester United and Real Madrid. At 36 years of age, that is to be expected so why have Manchester United decided to bring him back to the club now?
Ronaldo has a winning mentality. He does not like to come second and will do everything in his power to ensure both he and his club are successful.
The Portuguese international wants to be the best and he will arrive back at Old Trafford believing he can be the top goal scorer in the Premier League this season.
Ronaldo can drag the Manchester United players with him and his professionalism and desire to win trophies in addition to his experience could be huge, especially for the younger players in the squad.
However, who is going to drop out of the team? There are so many games in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, and League Cup, that we expect to see plenty of rotation from Manchester United this season but, players will want to play in the biggest games.
Premier League games against Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea will be the matches where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer selects his strongest XI and it will be interesting to see who gets the nod.
Could we see Bruno Fernandes taken off free-kick and penalty duty when Ronaldo is in the team and what will his reaction be if that is the case?
In addition, Manchester United are still short of a top class central midfield player and Ronaldo does not solve that problem. If the midfield cannot get on the ball and dictate the play, how are the forwards going to get the ball in dangerous areas of the pitch? The lack of quality in central areas was highlighted in the draw at Southampton last weekend.
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) August 27, 2021
So, although the initial elation of signing Ronaldo is justified, is he the player Manchester United really need to challenge at the top this season?