Now that he’s a Manchester united player, Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to quickly get used to the Premier league pace once again and start banging in goals like he has for over 12 years.
The portugal international is 36 years old but unlike a lot of players in his age group he’s shown no signs of slowing down, in fact the last time ronaldo struggled to score less than 30 goals was way back in 2009 since then his goal scoring feats have been nothing short of spectacular.
The veteran striker did not take a lot of time to settle at juventus and he took the seria by storm on paper the arrival of Ronaldo at old trafford makes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer side one of the strongest attacking outfits in England and beyond, indeed an attacking outfit that boasts the immensely experienced Edinson Cavani, a well-rested Marcus Rashford, a recharged Jadon Sancho and rising star Mason Greenwood should be able to do well against any side in Europe, throw in a man of Ronaldo’s pedigree and you’ve got a team that promises a lot of goals.
However things aren’t always how they appear to be so today we’re going to take an in-depth look at how cristiano ronaldo’s arrival changes things at Old Trafford and how the forward might fit in at the club.
Manchester United are no longer being rebuilt, while a lot of die-hard fans would disagree with us, the fact is that Manchester United are no longer a team that’s going through a rebuild in the last couple of years, Solskjær has gone about his business in a very graceful manner.
Since his arrival, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been backed in the transfer market by the Glazer’s although not every target was bought in one window the Norwegian tactician was also afforded time.
The likes of Harry maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Aaron wan-basaka and Donny van der beek arrived at Old Trafford for a lot of money the end result of these arrivals was that Manchester United got close to winning some silverware but weren’t able to do so.
However a second place finish last season should be taken as a massive improvement, Whether his detractors agree or not Solskjær has made United a better team and the dressing room environment is not full of so much ‘Ego’ as it was during Jose Mourinho’s last few months.
This summer though Solskjær has been backed very well which is good but at the same time possibly his biggest test as United manager after a year-long chase Manchester united were finally able to sign Jadon sancho.
The winger’s arrival adds a new dimension to the team’s offensive approach throughout Solskjaer’s tenure there has been a lot of talk about finding a suitable partner for Harry Maguire in defence.
Victor lindelof has proven to be a bit too inconsistent while Eric bailey has struggled with multiple injuries in recent years to supplement this Raphael Varane was signed from Real Madrid and the frenchman is expected to tackle the team’s defensive issues.
A new defensive midfielder was badly needed especially in light of Scott mctominay’s groin surgery and fred’s inability to be that bridge between defence and offense that a midfielder should be, the brazilian looks like a calamity waiting to strike every time he has the ball so far.
Manchester United have not been able to sign one despite being linked with tons of them this summer, this is a key area that could hurt them going forward.
However the return of Cristiano Ronaldo is what has gotten everyone excited Ronaldo’s first season at Old Trafford played a huge role in turning him into the player that we’ve seen in the last 10 years under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, the portugal international became one of the greatest players on the planet and now that he’s back the fans have got every reason to be excited.
Ronaldo won’t be warming the bench at the age of 36 you could be forgiven for thinking that the veteran forward would be starting a lot of games from the bench, however Ole Gunnar Solskjær has no such plans and says that his former teammate has not been brought back to the club just so he can sit on the bench.
Moreover ronaldo himself would never want to sit on the bench and will feel that he has one last point to prove before he rides off into the sunset.
However with Ronaldo back Solskjaer got many sleepless nights ahead during the international break as to where to play his marquee signing considering the wealth of attacking talent he’s got at his disposal.
This is maybe the first time in his old Trafford career that the Norwegian tactician can rely on a host of attacking players to get the job done.
During the one-nil win over wolves on sunday it was evident that united still need some cutting edge in the final third while mason greenwood has done a great job playing as a striker, the England international is too young to be expected to deliver every week.
With Ronaldo up front united would have a more reliable performer up front who will also impart wisdom to what is a young group of exciting and immensely talented United forwards.
So let’s have a look at the possible formations that could get the best out of the former juventus star.
During the early part of the summer break we found out that Manchester United would be looking to field an attacking 4-3-3 formation that would make for a frightening front three with David de gea, Aaron wan-basaka, Raphael varane, Harry maguire and Luke Shaw forming the defense Scott mctominy is going to be a perfect presence in the pivot with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in more advanced roles, these two have great passing ability and the creative wherewithal to keep supply routes open for the likes of Sancho and Rashford.
You can’t expect Ronaldo to be a very mobile forward these days but his knack of being in the right place at the right time is going to help both wingers rack up loads of assists this season.
One can say that mctominay would be under a lot of pressure to protect the defense but with Varane pairing up with Maguire the united defense will probably be very solid.
This particular formation has become Solskjaer’s calling card since his early days at old trafford Solskjær used this formation during the clash against southampton but you have to say that once he’s got every player available the Norwegian is going to refine the formation further.
In this formation Pogba is likely to be positioned on the left leaving enough room for Fred and Mc tomminay to play in the midfield with Fernandes positioned in the number 10 role expect him to play a little bit closer to ronaldo creating chances galore for his compatriot.
Last season Solskjær did use the three at the back formation however the reason behind this was that the Norwegian wasn’t confident in his players ability to defend against better opposition but the same formation did wonders for them during the win over Paris saint-germain last year however don’t expect this formation to be used regularly.
What happens to Greenwood?
Of course the arrival of Ronaldo means that Mason Greenwood might not be able to start a lot of games in his preferred role of a striker, the same can be said about edinson cavani on paper it appears that Ronaldo’s arrival is going to create a lot of imbalances, however this should not be considered a huge issue for greenwood who’s still learning his craft and he can also play down the right cavani on the other hand is also not going to struggle for minutes either especially if Solskjær decides to opt for a 4-4-2 diamond where the uruguayan would pair up with ronaldo cavani is a more mobile striker and likes to help in the build-up, expect the former psg man to play the Karim benzema role where the frenchman sacrificed his goalscoring instincts in order to accommodate Ronaldo.
Ronaldo a double-edged sword for solskjær
While in past seasons we would have come up with multiple excuses to defend Solskjaer’s shortcomings the Norwegian has almost zero excuses for whatever happens this season Manchester United should be able to deliver a serious title challenge and if they fail to close the gap with Manchester City serious questions will be asked of their manager’s ability to return the club to it’s former glory.
With Maguire and Varane in the heart of defence they should not be leaking easy goals Pogba and Bruno have shown that they can cause a lot of pain in the final third. Rashford Sancho and Greenwood can turn things around in the matter of seconds, Edinson Cavani is an elite striker whose very presence helps his teammates take up great attacking positions and Ronaldo is the sort of player whose presence is going to elevate all of those around him
The red devils have got a great squad and now possibly one of the greatest of all time, he’ll be backing himself to score goals and win trophies can his manager create an environment where winning the title becomes second nature well we’ll find out soon enough.