The Portuguese forward was evidently not top of Manchester United’s summer transfer list going into the summer, in fact, he probably wasn’t even on it.
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo Signing Was More Necessary Than Previously Thought
Originally a Luxury Signing
Initially, Manchester United’s moved to sign Cristiano Ronaldo looked one of luxury rather than necessity. With Edinson Cavani having agreed to stay at the club for another year, all seemed fine at Old Trafford with the plan to reportedly add a top-level striker next summer.
However, Manchester United could not sit and watch Ronaldo return to the Premier League and it not be with them.
In signing Ronaldo they risked upsetting Edinson Cavani, a man who was on a roll when available last season. The Uruguayan forward scored 17 goals and provided six assists in 39 appearances last summer. In doing so, he looked like the striker Manchester United had missed for a good few years now.
His decision to stay for one more year was an exciting one, considering his consistent goalscoring know-how compared to the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood. All of them are probably at their best elsewhere on the pitch at this point, and if not, just aren’t good enough to play a 38-game season upfront.
Having both Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani in the same squad fills Manchester United with an unmatched level of quality in the number nine position.
Edinson Cavani Absence Shows Cristiano Ronaldo Signing Was Necessary
The addition of Cristiano Ronaldo, just three games into his return, has already proved crucial.
Without Ronaldo, you’d expect United to go with Cavani when fit, but perhaps therein lies the problem. He has made just one appearance this season so far, playing 37 minutes off the bench against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
He has since picked up another injury and has been unavailable for Manchester United in recent games.
Whilst Cavani possesses immense ability to score goals, it’s no secret that had they not signed Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United would be clutching at straws for goals from the number nine position this season.
Marcus Rashford’s absence after long-awaited surgery doesn’t help things but he is a player clearly better playing on the left-hand side than anywhere else.
Mason Greenwood is still not quite there as a centre-forward yet but offers United the most hope for the future in that position.
Much was made of the Cristiano Ronaldo signing and how much it might affect the other players at the club in terms of game time, but very little of the focus actually lauded him for what he will bring to the team – and has already brought – the ability to put the ball in the back of the net. That’s all he was signed to do. Not one person at Manchester United was expecting the stepover machine that left the club to return the same player at 36-years-old.
Ronaldo has already dished out four goals in his three appearances so far – making him Manchester United’s joint-top goalscorer in all competitions this season.
The Carabao Cup loss to West Ham showed just how much they need him in the box. Countless opportunities to cross into the box arose with Anthony Martial, the club’s actual number nine, nowhere to be seen.
Manchester United host Aston Villa in the league on Saturday afternoon and Cristiano Ronaldo will definitely be starting that game. Not much is known with regards to the availability of Edinson Cavani right now.
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