Sky is the limit for Manchester United
On the 8th of August, when it was announced that Lionel Messi would be leaving Barcelona and was on the verge of joining Paris Saint Germain, the football world was up on its feet. A player who had been at this club since the age of 13 was at last moving on to a new and different venture. Fans, journalists, and clubs assumed that this, along with the departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, would be the biggest announcements of the summer and had already diverted their attention towards the season coming ahead. However, on the 27th of August, it was disclosed that Cristiano Ronaldo had decided to part ways with his club Juventus. The news broke a week after Ronaldo had requested to be left out of Juventus’s starting XI in their season opener against Udinese. Rumours started circulating that the 5-time Ballon d’or winner would be heading to Manchester City, a team in desperate need of a striker. Indeed, it would have been a controversial move as Manchester City were the direct rivals of Cristiano’s former and beloved club, Manchester United. On the same day it was announced that Ronaldo would be leaving Juventus, it was revealed that he was returning to Manchester United. This astonished football fans because the most famous athlete in the world was “coming home”.What impact will Ronaldo’s arrival have on Manchester United and their current season? Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club in 2013, Manchester United haven’t achieved the success that the fans desired. Their best achievements in the post-Ferguson era have been a 2016 FA Cup win, and a 2017 Europa League win. Unfortunately they have not been able to win a single trophy since then. Nevertheless, the future does look bright under the player-turned-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He has come in and absolutely transformed the squad with key additions such as Bruno Fernandes, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho. This team currently holds the record for the longest unbeaten away run in Premier League history of 28 games (and counting). Such factors prove that with the addition of a player like Ronaldo winning silverware will be the bare minimum. Ronaldo himself in an interview for MUTV said, “It’s a new chapter, I’m so happy and glad, and I want to carry on again, to make history, to try to help Manchester United achieve great results, to win trophies and number one of them is to win great things.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also had things to say about his return. “He is going to make us a better team,” the United manager said. “He’s a special boy, or man now. He was a boy when I played with him. Of course, the players are excited, some have played with him in their national team. You see the fans - they are excited. That’s what he does - he is a special player.”
The Portuguese star had scored 118 goals for Man United during his initial time at the club and had won them three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, and one Champions League. Now that he’s back after conquering other parts of Europe, sky is the limit for Manchester United and Ronaldo.
However, Manchester United’s success does not solely depend on Ronaldo. Football is a team sport, and one individual cannot carry the whole team to success. If they want to achieve greatness, then they need to ensure that every single position in the starting 11 has a solid player that can provide what the team requires. The position of central defensive midfielder remains uncertain. United currently have three options: Nemanja Matic, Fred and Scott Mctominay who is currently recovering from a groin injury. Fans are not satisfied with these options with Matic being labelled too slow and Fred not good enough. Now that the transfer window is shut, Ole will need to find a viable solution to this problem. Perhaps experimenting with Victor Lindelof, a fast defender that has quality passing, in the CDM position may prove to be useful. Risks will have to be taken, and now is the right time. For a squad that has quality players such as Ronaldo, Fernandes, Varane and Pogba, winning trophies is a must. Only time will tell whether the grand return of CR7 will take Manchester United back to winning ways.