Manchester United have completed the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo according to the club. Ronaldo left the club in 2009 to join Real Madrid and returns to Old Trafford after a small transfer battle with rivals Manchester City.
Ronaldo has scored over 600 goals in his entire career. Ronaldo spent the last three season at Juventus and has a brevity of awards and trophies in his cabinet.
Ronaldo returning comes at an interesting time for United. United could compete for a title and need someone more consistent at the number 9 position.
Consistency has been lacking at the position since United had the likes of Berbatov, Rooney, Van Persie, Tevez and even Zlatan. It has been a few seasons without a consistent striker.
Ronaldo began his career at United as a left winger looking to run at defenders. Now, he operates mainly in the center and still utilizes his athleticism to great success with outrageous leaping headers.
Manchester United Strike Force
This is a little more opinionated, warning. I think United need to hold possession and play with a classical number 9. I think Mason Greenwood could be that guy, is he there yet if he is only scoring 10 goals? No, but he is extremely promising.
Greenwood has shined early this season, scoring a goal in each game and he finished last season off well. In a press conference in 2019, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said of Greenwood, “natural finishing, he is one of the best I have seen.” High praise from a striker who also played with and around great strikers.
If Greenwood wants to be that guy, he needs at least 20 goals in the league. You have to get goals if you want to be the main striker. During the Leeds game he was that guy and played more centrally, In the poor performance against Southampton he was pushed wider and had to share the middle with Anthony Martial.
There have been some rumors of bids coming in for Martial. If I was a team wanting to buy Martial, I would wait to the deadline and cut €10-15mil off of Martial’s value. The only buyers in the French league seem to be PSG, who are not bringing in Martial.
Maybe a team in Spain or Italy could come in later for a bid. There was rumors of Atalanta if Duvan Zapata gets sold, it was hot air mostly and a couple of weeks ago the club will not allow him to leave this summer according to Sky Sports.
I do not think Martial is a classical number 9. He does not always hold up the ball well, his headers could be better and his turn and shot skills are lacking lately. Martial had some great moments as a Red Devil, but lately things have not been kind to the Frenchman.
Martial scored 17 league goals in 2019, only four last season, injuries hampered him a lot last campaign. Edinson Cavani has pushed Martial out of the center and with Marcus Rashford’s natural position looking more like the left wing, Martial is slowly getting pushed out of the squad.
The Uruguayan is a great talent, his talents was on display at times last season, especially towards the end of the season. But, the big man can not stay healthy.
Cavani is a class athlete and wonderful player when fit and would work well with Ronaldo if they were up top together and it might not require a huge revamp of the system.
Greenwood and Martial pretty much did that at the weekend at times the formation going forward looked like a 4-2-2-2 with Pogba and Bruno playing attacking midfielders on the right and left. They looked to both get in the middle and make things happen.
Defensively that could be problematic. Both Cavani and Ronaldo are up in age and at the point in both of their careers that being asked to do too much defensively may harm their ability to be as effective offensively.
Someone like Greenwood can run for days and might pair better with either or. It looks like Cavani might be a super sub when Ronaldo comes.
Ronaldo was not enough for a strong Juve team to recapture Serie A last season after winning it for a decade. It was not all Ronaldo’s fault or even any of it and Ronaldo held Juve accountable for it, he expects to win.
Not only does United get a number 9 that they need they also get an extreme winner, someone for Greenwood to try and emulate, someone is going to hold the United looker room accountable.