Will Cristiano Ronaldo's return lift Manchester United to glory? | Premier League | NBC Sports


NBC Sports 01 September, 2021 - 02:00pm 7 views

What number is Ronaldo at Manchester United?

Cristiano Ronaldo has officially re-signed for Man United on a two-year contract from Juventus. Manchester United fans are demanding that Cristiano Ronaldo is handed the famous number 7 shirt after his grand return to Old Trafford was rubber-stamped. Manchester Evening NewsManchester United fans have the same theory over Cristiano Ronaldo's squad number

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Man Utd's second strongest XI shows just how scary the squad depth now is

Daily Star 02 September, 2021 - 02:40am

Manchester United strengthened their squad with three major signings in the summer transfer window - meaning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now has a plethora of options at his disposal.

The Red Devils have boosted their chances of competing for the Premier League title this season, with Jadon Sancho first arriving in a £77million switch from Borussia Dortmund.

Raphael Varane then completed a £34million move from Real Madrid, before ex-teammate Cristiano Ronaldo sealed an earth-shattering return to Old Trafford this week.

Solskjaer now has the squad depth required to mount a serious title challenge in the 2021/22 campaign, as even his second best starting XI is a strong one.

David de Gea is likely to remain the club's No.1 goalkeeper, but Dean Henderson is waiting in the wings should he ever become unavailable.

Henderson, 24, will be expected to feature mainly in domestic and European cup competitions until De Gea's time at Old Trafford eventually draws to a close.

Varane is certain to become Harry Maguire's first-choice centre-back partner in between full-backs Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but Solskjaer's reserve back four of Alex Telles, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Diogo Dalot is by no means shabby.

Scott McTominay should be deployed as United's midfield anchor, with Fred serving as a decent backup option.

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Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes are bound to sandwich the Scot in the middle of the park, starting ahead of alternatives Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard.

In attack, Marcus Rashford and Sancho are likely to start alongside Ronaldo, but Anthony Martial, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood will also be rotated.

Solskjaer has two powerful starting XIs at his disposal this season, which should allow him to compete on all four fronts as United chase their first piece of silverware since 2017.

United's second XI:Henderson; Dalot, Lindelof, Bailly, Telles; Fred, Van de Beek, Lingard; Greenwood, Cavani, Martial

The Queen Asks For First-Ever Autograph In Her Life, Personally Requests Player’s Signed Shirt

SPORTbible 01 September, 2021 - 02:07pm

It's been reported that none other than Queen Elizabeth has ordered 80 Manchester United shirts following the Portuguese ace's sensational return to Old Trafford from Juventus.

She has also personally requested that United reserve the first shirt signed by the 36-year-old.

Queen Elizabeth has personally requested that #mufc reserve the first shirt to be signed by Cristiano Ronaldo, meaning Ronaldo becomes the only human being Queen Elizabeth has asked for an autograph. [@sis] pic.twitter.com/UaaQ9VX43a

The Queen has met a fair few famous people in her time but has never requested an autograph from them - until now.

United spent £12.85m on re-signing Ronaldo, and it's likely they'll quickly make that back in shirt sales alone. Now 80 of them will be winging their way to London.

It was thought that the Queen was in fact a West Ham fan, but she clearly enjoys watching Ronaldo in action too.

Ronaldo will embark on a second spell on the red side of Manchester after 12 successful years away at Real Madrid and Juventus.

"I have a fantastic history with this amazing club," he told United's official website. "I was there at 18 and I'm so happy to be back home after 12 years.

"It's a new chapter and I want to carry on again, to make history, to try to help Manchester achieve great results, to win trophies and number one of them, to win great things."

United didn't hold back in the transfer window, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer given the sort of financial backing that demands the Red Devils rival Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea for the title.

The queen is a red. She's definitely been singing Viva Ronaldo since Friday evening and hasn't stopped. https://t.co/b8iOYZxjeO

As well as the deal for Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho was signed for £73m and Raphael Varane for £42m.

United captain Harry Maguire believes Ronaldo will have just as much impact off the pitch as he will on it.

"It's amazing," Maguire told The Independent. "For me, the greatest player to play the game.

"It's amazing to have him at the club. I'm sure he's going to have a big impact on and off the field and many players can look and learn and improve."

The queen turning up at Old Trafford in her signed Ronaldo kit :raised_hands:

One person reportedly not so happy with Ronaldo's move to United is Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri.

According to Il Giornale, Allegri feels 'furious' with Juve president Andrea Agnelli and sporting director Federico Cherubini.

What's more, he told the pair that wanted a more experienced player - more towards Ronaldo's level - to replace the superstar rather than Everton's Moise Kean.

Man Utd hopeful over Paul Pogba contract

FootballFanCast.com 01 September, 2021 - 06:20am

The arrivals of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo will hopefully propel the Red Devils’ first-team squad to new heights this summer, yet World Cup-winning midfielder Paul Pogba is still to commit his future to the club.

After entering the final year of his current contract, the 28-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, although Lionel Messi’s shock arrival at the Parc des Princes priced him out of that particular deal.

However, according to well-known journalist Samuel Luckhurst, the Red Devils are reportedly hopeful that the arrival of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo will be enough to convince Pogba to sign a new contract at the club.

“The feeling at hierarchical level at United is the return of Ronaldo is such a compelling statement of intent that it may persuade Pogba to stay,” his report read.

After re-joining his boyhood club in a then world-record £89 million deal back in 2016, Pogba has only won the League Cup and Europa League and has failed to add to those accolades over the last four seasons.

As a result, Pogba is not believed to have shown any concrete interest in putting pen to paper on fresh terms at United due to fears he could waste the remaining prime years of his career with the Old Trafford outfit.

Nevertheless, the recent improvements made under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer both on and off the pitch have brought renewed hope that the 20-time English champions could return to their former glory in the imminent future.

When asked about Ronaldo’s return to United, Pogba said: “Everybody knows [what he brings]. He’s already a legend at this club and he is coming back.

“Obviously, it’s good for us, he’s going to bring his experience and quality. When he comes, the level goes up. We’re really pleased he’s coming and the most important thing today was the win so that when he comes we keep this winning mentality and keep going.”

Only time will tell if Ronaldo’s presence is enough to convince Pogba to sign a new deal, but the United supporters could be left buzzing with excitement at this new wave of hope.

Manchester United should have hijacked Chelsea's move for Saul Niguez

Football365 01 September, 2021 - 03:55am

Date published: Wednesday 1st September 2021 9:55 - Editor F365

Chelsea sign a top 5 striker in the world

Manchester United somehow poach a top 5 CB in the world for 40m

Barca signing players but not actually signing players

Real being broke then suddenly finding 180mil for a player they can have next year for nothing but it’s still not enough but it might actually be enough yet.

PSG doing their best impression of Football Manager and filtering down to “players in last year of contract” despite having a bottomless pit of crude cash out the back.

Even if you have no skin in the game for any of the aforementioned players or clubs, everyone can get giddy at the fact that Arsenal are the biggest spenders in the world, and are still sh*te.

Oh and Messi…Messi…has moved to PSG.

With Cavani, Rashford, Sancho, Greenwood, Bruno, quality attacking players aren’t the thing that’s missing. Yes, it’s Ronaldo. He’ll likely score 20+ this season, and at 36 he’s still a specimen of an athlete, but longer term, will his arrival affect the development of Greenwood? who was already most likely looking at sharing minutes with Cavani sancho and Rashford, who were the most likely first choice front 3 when match fit before Ronaldo signed.

It sounds a real first World problem I know. Having to accommodate so many quality attacking players, but wouldnt Manchester United have been better off spending the 70m package to bring Ronaldo “home” for two years, on a cdm instead?

I know I sound ungrateful. Spoilt even. It’s not that. I simply think getting the balance of the team right gives Man United the best chance of success, or at least being competitive. Yes, again, I know it’s Ronaldo. He’s special. If you have the opportunity to sign a player of that quality it’s hard to say no. Especially when your city rivals are sniffing after him and he could bring them the success they crave in Europe.

I’m not saying he’s anything but a great, great player. I loved what he brought to Manchester United from age 18 to 24, but sometimes it’s the least glamorous jigsaw piece that solves the puzzle. A neves, a Saul, an Ndidi, a Declan Rice. They’re not players who will set the heart a flutter like Ronaldo, or shoot share prices up by 150m in a day, but they are players who would actually improve an area of the team that really needs improving.

When Ronaldo chose to leave a Manchester United who had reached two champions league finals in a row, he made it quite clear that if Manchester United was his home, that he was happy to pack a suitcase and run away from it. Leaving his loving family to fend for themselves. Bottom line here is that the Glazers made a business decision. Getting him for 70m in fee and wages. They knew they would increase the value of the club, share price, get bigger sponsorship deals, merch sales etc. Also that it’d get fans onside and pour cold water on the Glazers out campaign. It’s a great piece of off the field business. A bargain at 480k per week.

But I don’t buy into the lovely warm fuzzy nostalgic and romantic notion that he was “brought home” as some sort of family reunion, goodwill gesture to fans, or to satisfy a symmetry and a yearning that he had to return. That’s how it’ll be played out as the PR machines trundle on, but it’s nonsense. He left to play his prime years at Madrid. It was his childhood dream, fair enough, he owed Manchester United nothing, but he still left. Scholes didn’t leave. To hear Ronaldo speak now you would think he had been kidnapped in 2009. So Scholes stayed, as did Giggs. As did Keane. Robson. Cantona could have walked away after the incident at Palace. They stayed. That’s what separates a great player for a club, from a club legend. They stay.

Yes he’ll score goals, yes he will bring a winning mentality that should rub off on the entire squad hopefully. Leadership, inspiration, feel good factor. Its all there. Its a good signing for many reasons. On and off the pitch. He could make a difference in big games. Do what others simply can’t do. But all this “coming home” stuff? Maybe for younger supporters who were kids, or not even born when he first signed from Sporting Lisbon, and he left when they were still kids, and they have this idea that he was always just waiting for the chance to come “home”. But for someone who was 33 when he skived off to Madrid? Welcome home? Please…

That said I know I’ll enjoy him walking out of the Old Trafford tunnel that first time. The rapturous applause. The nostalgia. The romance. The theatre of dreams. Like a scene from Kevin Costner’ Field Of Dreams. But in two yrs time I’ll be wondering why we didn’t buy a cdm in the summer of 2021 and then go all out to buy the best centre forward in Europe for the next ten years (Haaland) in the summer of 2022. The long term view. That’s what my old cynical head wants now. Not this youthful fantasy of Ronaldo “coming home” nonsense.

Saul, one of the very best in the business,has been on the street corner in his lingerie waving at passing cars with Atleti waiting in the alley for his takings for months.

Manchester United let him go to Chelsea on loan and it’s astonishing.

I’m not a Manchester United fan beyond secondary childhood allegiance so possibly I’m immune to the Ronaldo nostalgia, but what the hell sort of club signs a 36 year old striker they don’t need on massive wages instead of the midfielder they absolutely do need?

Doesn’t Ronaldo also effectively block any move for Haalands signature when his clause becomes active in January? Even if Ronaldos massive wages didn’t eat the entire budget, the fact that Manchester United had a huge gaping hole for a star striker was one of the reasons why they actually had a chance of Haaland. Not now.

It doesn’t really matter as Manchester United will never win anything with Solskjaer, but none of it makes any sense to me.

It’s five-twenty-ish on deadline day and it doesn’t look like Manchester United are anywhere near signing a central midfielder, defensive or otherwise. Whilst I can’t disagree with any of United’s transfers – in or out – this summer, I can’t help but thinking this is an opportunity missed. Had we signed an upgrade on McSauce/Fred/Matic then we genuinely would have won the transfer window (it’s a thing) and would have been serious contenders for the title. Now it’s kind of a bit… meh.

There was a very “interesting” mail in the mailbox earlier claiming that Manchester United had 12 – TWELVE! – “world class” midfielders. I have absolutely no idea how they reached 12 but I’m assuming they were including wingers and attacking midfielders in that number. Aside from the positional specifics I’m struggling to think of a single world class outfield player for United in the post-Ferguson era. Statistically Bruno up to now is probably as close has we have got and I guess Luke Shaw has made his case in the last 12 months. But we certainly do not have 12 world class midfielders.

Regardless of how much has been spent or the warped view that everyone else has of the United squad, the complaint of United fans is very specific: we need a top class defensive midfielder, particularly one that at times can allow Bruno and Pogba (or even a second striker) to play together and give the ball away as much as they do. Neither McSauce or Fred are good enough alone and when one plays with Pogba in midfielder they are left isolated because Pogba does not track back (see Fred against Wolves). Our other options are Matic who is as mobile as the Titanic after it struck the iceberg (and possibly as old) and Van De Beek who has been given few opportunities  and has been a complete waste of space when he has played anyway.

We can complain about Fred all we want, but statistically he’s the best of this bunch – if that doesn’t explain our need for a DM then I don’t know what will. I suppose Pogba can play there but I don’t recommend it as he has the stats of a winger. He’s a liability when he’s anywhere near our box and looking at our stats when Fred or Pogba start, I’d rather have Fred. Pogba should stay on the left.

United should challenge for the title with the squad we have already but it will be made a lot harder without fixing a problem that we have had since at least Michael Carrick retired (or since Roy Keane left if you listen to my dad). Without that top notch DM, we won’t be able to control games against the best teams and we even seem to be struggling to do that against the not so good teams. It seems like a weird blind spot to have when you consider some of the players that are being touted for even loan moves.

I feel your pain. As a United supporter in London, over the past couple of decades, I have had the pleasure of visiting Highbury/ the Emirates stadium thanks to the kindness of my many Arsenal supporting pals. I too bemoan the fall from grace of Arsenal. Once everybody’s second favourite team in the days of Henry, Vieira, and Bergkamp, all of us have a sense of loss about the state of Arsenal. (Ok, all of us except the Spurs brigade who can’t stop laughing).

Your argument though, has 3 critical flaws. First your numbers are off. Thomas Partey’s 45 million is by no means Arsenal’s headline number. Lacazette, Auba, Ben White, and not least of all Pepe (for all of 70m), are all ahead of Partey in the honours list.

Second, the trophy argument can’t be used as universal trump card, else you’re going to be the next Wigan. I know of no Man United fan that would exchange places with Arsenal, even including the trophy. It’s better to be 4th in the league with a Trophy than 2nd without. But I no longer think an FA Cup trumps consistent CL presence, unless you’re a mid-table club. Both because of the financial impact as well as player-pulling power.

This season it’s the turn of Liverpool and United on QF weekend. On current domestic cup form I suppose Liverpool will be out by then after playing the youth team in R3 while United will still be in, ready for their usual late exit and disappointment. Whichever way, it’ll likely mean a late – possibly very late – Anfield showdown between the two.

This should happen often but it seems to crop up almost every year.

I’m also struggling to recall any instances in the entire PL era when one of the top-tier clashes was scheduled for the last day of the season. Chelsea-Liverpool in about 2003 perhaps (the Gronkjaer one), maybe one involving Newcastle in about 1997. Liverpool-Blackburn in 1995 too but nothing since 2003 that I can remember, and definitely nothing for a good while regardless. That instinctively feels like a statistical anomaly – 29 seasons (including this) and virtually no last-day top-four clashes. Six top-four match-ups spread across 19 (or briefly 20 and 21) matchdays in any given second half of a season – and never anything on the last weekend. It’s almost as if someone’s engineering it.

For perspective, if you say that the chances of a big last-day clash are 30% in any given season, then for it not to happen in ten seasons would be 0.7 to the power of 10 = less than a 3% chance. Make it 19 years (i.e. now) and you’re almost down to 1 in 1,000. Incredible.

Conversely, there is always at least one of these big matches just before the end of the season.

Coincidence or no, fellow mailboxers? And if no, is that OK with you? I’ll be honest – it irks me (if Matrix was here, it would irk him too).

For me this question is about one thing – how much did that player impact the club? You can’t talk money but ultimately it’s about whether they improved the team or not. So here’s my picks –

1. Ronaldo to Madrid – helped turn them from a team who couldn’t win a champs league to one which refused to let go of the trophy.

2. Roberto Baggio to Juventus – sparked the 90s success of Juve by helping them to scudetto, coppa Italia and uefa cup victory  all while constantly only being given limited playing time.

Whats the point of supporting Man Utd if signing one of the greatest players ever doesn't get you excited?

"They've got a system of playing that protects the individuals from potentially being isolated."

Saul has joined Chelsea in a €5m loan deal with the option to make the move permanent for €35m.

Chelsea got the deal over the line with very little time to spare...

This is a cracking mailbox - on Mikel Arteta, Liverpool, Jadon Sancho and loads more.

The Blues and several other clubs have been linked with a move for the midfielder...

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