Man United Transfer Window Winners
The Red Devils have been one of the real winners from this transfer window, with Jadon Sancho arriving from Borussia Dortmund for £76.5millon and Ronaldo’s former Real Madrid teammate Raphael Varane joining in a £36million deal.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have gone from title outsiders to serious contenders, but can Cristiano help return the Premier League trophy to Old Trafford for the first time since 2013?
Ronaldo A Different Player
The Ronaldo that returns to North West England is a very different player to the one that left in 2009, for a then world record £80million fee to Los Blancos.
Don’t expect the showboating or the toying with defenders that made him a sensation, because CR7 has completely changed how and where he plays.
Under Sir Alex Ferguson, he was very much a winger by trade, but nowadays he is the prolific goalscorer that has terrorised the defences of both LaLiga and Serie A.
Ronaldo’s goalscoring record since departing the Premier League – compared with when he was in England – is as different as night and day.
Now, his 84 league goals in 196 appearances at Manchester United is of course nothing to be sniffed at.
But, 392 LaLiga and Serie A strikes in 390 games is quite simply the work of a force of nature.
Whether it is with his head, left foot or right foot, expect Ronaldo to be testing the very best Premier League defences from the get-go.
It is no surprise that – just this week – he became the top men’s international goalscorer in history, with his 110th and 111th goals coming against the Republic of Ireland in World Cup qualification.
Hitting The Ground Running
Ronaldo’s second debut will likely come as soon as September 11 after he was granted an early release from the Portugal squad, meaning he has time to rest and prepare.
The Red Devils’ opponents that day will be Newcastle United, and as if Steve Bruce’s winless Magpies didn’t have enough on their plate already, they will be even more concerned when they discover Ronaldo’s record against the Toon Army.
The Portuguese great faced Newcastle on 11 different occasions during his first spell and never lost – winning 10 and drawing once.
Not content with simply being on the winning side, Ronaldo was often the difference maker in those fixtures, contributing six goals and five assists.
If he can add to that tally on his return, it could well be the catalyst for a title charge for Solskjaer’s men, with the added benefit of keeping the famously impatient English press off his back.
No, we’re not talking about social media, although on that note he does have more Instagram followers than each of the 20 Premier League clubs combined.
As Ronaldo’s career away from Old Trafford has progressed, he has matured and become a leader in every side that he has played in.
Although he won’t be taking the armband just yet, there is no doubting the influence he will have in this Manchester United dressing room.
You only have to cast your mind back to the Euro 2016 final, when injury forced Ronaldo off the pitch. He effectively took control from manager Fernando Santos in the dugout, as Portugal went on to win against France in Les Bleus’ own backyard.
With so many youngsters in the Red Devils side, many of whom idolised Ronaldo as they grew up, don’t be surprised to see CR7 take them under his wing.
The opportunity for players like Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho to share a dressing room with such an icon can only be a benefit, for both themselves and their club.