Manchester United made a shocking move on the deadline day transfer going for a move of the greatest goal scorers in Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo was not a priority signing to United but when the opportunity to bring back their famous No 7 came up it was one too good to turn down.
Across the world, it was a statement signing, even with Ronaldo aged 36, and the Portuguese’s arrival will shake up Ole’s starting eleven.
For some players, this will be a huge benefit to have Ronaldo play alongside them but sadly to some, it’s a big loss and they will have to embrace that. Here at SportsLeo we take a look at just which players might benefit from the signing and just which players will have to pull up their socks.
Notably, the England midfielder is clearly incredibly excited by Ronaldo’s arrival.
Ronaldo fever is so strong that Lingard adapted the Portuguese’s iconic celebration when he netted against Andorra on Sunday night for England.
But while the 28-year-old may hold the same exciting emotions surrounding Ronaldo’s return, it bears sad news for his playing chances at Old Trafford.
Last season, Lingard thrived on loan at West Ham, scoring nine goals and providing four assists in 16 appearances having arrived in January. However, he faces competition from the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho, and Mason Greenwood who are all above him in the pecking order.
Linked with a move away this summer and with Ronaldo’s arrival set to further decrease his starts in the attacking front three, it is a defining period for Martial and his Manchester United career.
Just seven goals last season was a real downgrading and now he could find himself limited to cameo roles off the bench. Towards the end of last season, he lost his starting number to Edinson Cavani and now he will go down the order once again with the arrival of Ronaldo.
DONNY VAN DE BEEK:
Well, his agent already admitted he isn’t too optimistic that life at Old Trafford is going to improve for the former Netherlands midfielder.
Van de Beek is yet to feature for Solskjaer’s side this season having started just four Premier League matches the whole of last season.
And now the arrival of Ronaldo for a second spell at Old Trafford looks likely to bump him even further down the pecking order.
Speaking in Netherlands, Van de Beek’s agent Guido Albers said: ‘Cristiano arrived on Friday which we knew was bad news for us.
The midfielder is battling for a position with Pogba, Bruno, and now Sancho and this is surely going to be a tough season for the former Ajax player.
Cavani has just given up the No 7 shirt and also likely sacrificed a starting spot for the returning Ronaldo.
‘I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to have the No 7 shirt again,’ Ronaldo said. ‘So I would like to say a huge thank you to Edi [Cavani] for this incredible gesture.’
The fact United have bolstered their attack with an older player may bother the 34-year-old given only two players netted more than him last season for United, having scored 17 goals and added six assists in 40 games, a figure only beaten by Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes last season. But the fact that he plays in the same position as the Portuguese means he will have to come off the bench for Ronaldo.
This might sound weird but it’s just a matter of wait and see for Bruno. The midfielder plays in the same national team as Ronaldo and all the freekicks and penalties are given to the latter. Having been United’s top scorer last season, Fernandes’ monopoly over free-kicks and penalties will now likely be brought into question. But if Ronaldo calms down from taking penalties and freekicks, then Bruno will be a winner.
Pogba has impressed in the opening two games playing a bit wide in that attacking midfield but with attacking spots already bulging at the seams prior to Ronaldo’s arrival, his deployment as a deep-lying midfielder at Wolves could be a nod to how it goes for Pogba moving forward.
Ronaldo’s arrival will surely ease the pressure on Pogba and we wait and see just how Ronaldo will benefit from his stunning long passes, and with Ronaldo’s clinical finish, Pogba can surely bag double-figure assists this season.
This is not up for argument. If you are a football fan you know how young players playing alongside the likes of Ronaldo and Messi benefit. Starting with Ansu Fati at Barcelona under Messi to Federico Chiesa at Juventus who played with Ronaldo for just one season and is now one of the best wingers in Italy if not Europe.
Already enjoying a good start of the season, with three goals in three matches, Greenwood might be the biggest benefactor of Ronaldo’s return than the club itself.
If he goes down the right or the left flank, Greenwood is superb and just having Ronaldo at the middle will surely light up the 2021 golden boy nominee.