After a tumultuous few days in the lead up to Cristiano Ronaldo rejoining the Old Trafford side speculation around Europe was that Ronaldo would actually join United’s direct rivals Manchester City. That wasn’t the final outcome though and the Red Devils ultimately were able to bring back their man for two more seasons.
Is Ronaldo the right fit for United at this given time though?
Since the Portuguese international’s departure over a decade ago there have been some issues with consistency in Manchester, especially following Sir Alex Ferguson’s leave in 2013.
Since that time, United has finished outside the top four in the Premier League on four occasions and haven’t hoisted the top-flight trophy during that span.
However, after a second-place finish last season and a trip to the Europa League final, United finally appears to be in a position where the club isn’t just seeking to be competitive. The club has plenty of reason for excitement not just domestically but for Europe as well after receiving a favorable Champions League draw.
Bringing back a player of Ronaldo’s caliber obviously adds a layer of creativity and experience to a squad that is largely young and developing its big-match experience. The same could be said about the team’s addition of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid this summer.
However, the rest of United’s squad, with the exceptions of goalkeeper David De Gea and striker Edinson Cavani, are young. In fact, the Red Devils boast a team that currently has 15 players aged 25 or younger, making it one of the youngest in the Premier League.
Where does Ronaldo fit into that? The Portuguese international is the second-oldest at the club, only trailing goalkeeper Lee Grant.
To many, age is just a number and in Ronaldo’s case that may be true in a lot of ways. He finished last season as Juventus’ leading scorer and won the Serie A Golden Boot award for his troubles.
That being said though, there’s a new age at United with a wide variety of attacking talent led by the marquee summer signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. Sancho, like many of United’s top attacking weapons, are all largely in that 25 and under group, with the exception being Bruno Fernandes (26) and Paul Pogba (27).
Ronaldo is a focal point no matter which team he has played on throughout his career. During his first stint at United, a young Ronaldo dazzled English football with his flair and tremendous golazos.