Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the Old Trafford is very close
Manchester United fans have been waiting for this moment since 2009. Cristiano Ronaldo’s return will happen against Newcastle.
The game of the patience
Saturday will play host to an event that Manchester United fans have been waiting for since 2009 in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the club, and it is expected he will make his second debut against Newcastle United at Old Trafford. Newcastle are curiously the only team Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against during his first spell in Manchester, although he is arriving into a very different Manchester United than the one he left behind in search of Spanish glory. Ronaldo’s last match for United was a Champions League final defeat to Barcelona, yet the United he is joining haven’t even been close to a Champions League final since 2011.
There is an interesting dichotomy between what fans believe Ronaldo can do and what Ronaldo can actually do at this stage of his career. United fans remember Ronaldo who was under 24 and able to win matches on his own against any opponent, yet the player they are getting is 36. Yes, he was the leading scorer in Serie A last term ahead of the 115 million euro Romelu Lukaku, but does he fit with the quick counter-attacking style Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been trying to implement?
Realistic expectations from the striker
The fact is that Ronaldo immediately arrives as Manchester United’s best player, that much is clear. However, he needs a lot of direct service at this stage of his career, and this is where Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho will need to be at their best. They will have to sacrifice their own numbers to make chances for Ronaldo, although it could be argued that United’s best chance of success in the Premier League this term will come if Ronaldo gets 25 goals.