07.10.2021 » Who should play next to Ronaldo in Manchester United's attack?
Cristiano Ronaldo made his second debut for Manchester United against Newcastle, on September 11. The expectations were high and the former Real Madrid and Juventus forward didn't let anyone down, as he scored twice in Old Trafford in his home welcoming. The stakes were already high before Ronaldo was presented as United's new signing for this season, but once the Portuguese star confirmed his hunger for scoring goals is still untouched, this obviously impacted all soccer betting options for the on-going campaign. Nevertheless, the discussion is now more centered on what role Ronaldo should be assigned in this United's team and who should play next to him in the Red Devils' attack.
Cristiano Ronaldo - September skills:
5 starts, 5 goals!
We didn't have to wait too long to see Ronaldo producing an impact in this Man United's team. After scoring a brace against Newcastle in his first game for Manchester United since he returned to England, Ronaldo proceeded to score in every other game he started, except against Aston Villa. We're also excluding the game against Everton, since Ronaldo only came in during the second half, replacing Edison Cavani in the 57th minute. The Portuguese icon ended up scoring against Newcastle (x2), Young Boys, West Ham and Villarreal, in 3 wins and 1 loss (Young Boys).
If there's anything Ronaldo has improved a lot since he left the club in the summer of 2009, that's his scoring capabilities. Not that he wasn't scoring a lot of goals under Sir Alex Ferguson's orders, but after signing for Real Madrid and especially over the last years, he transformed his his playing style and became more of a prolific goalscorer other than a classic winger that would just run down the wing over and over to take on defenders and entertain the public. Ronaldo's focus is now to score goals and every action he produces on the field eventually leads to him accomplish scoring.
If we look back at Manchester United's attacking front during Ronaldo's first spell at the club, we immediately realize there is still a substantial difference in quality when compared to today's names. While Sir Alex Ferguson had an attacking trio formed by Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Ronaldo, nowadays Ole Solskjaer seems to prioritize a trio with Greenwood, Sancho and Ronaldo.
If it's true the players' caliber surrounding Ronaldo may not be as good as they were back then, it's also true that Solskjaer does have more depth on the bench and can try different combinations. The Norwegian manager has a large range of options to choose from, starting with Edison Cavani, a striker who scored 200 goals for PSG and 104 goals for Napoli throughout his career. If he manages to find a good balance and chemistry between Ronaldo and Cavani, a partnership from these two aces could change everything in Man United's title hopes.
But it's only Cavani that is waiting for a chance to prove he can play next to Ronaldo on a regular basis. Since Ronaldo made his debut for the club, there is a player who has been forced to sit out while recovering from a shoulder injury. We're obviously talking about Marcus Rashford, who scored 42 goals for the club in the last 2 seasons combined.
Is it only a matter of time until we see Solskjaer changing his attacking front to a trio formed by Rashford, Cavani and Ronaldo? The Norwegian has been rotating pretty much everyone he has at his disposal, so we'll probably just have to wait a few more weeks until we see this deadly combination on the pitch.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Portugal is on October 9, against Qatar. You can watch Portugal vs Qatar, Paraguay vs Argentina, Uruguay vs Colombia, Belgium vs France, Venezuela vs Brazil, and Germany vs Romania, all matches provided from our live football game pages.
Portugal next game:
Portugal vs Qatar kick-off time (09-10-2021):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 03:15
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+7: 02:15
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 00:45
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+2: 21:15
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 21:15
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 20:15
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 16:15
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 15:15
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 12:15