At the end of a remarkable summer transfer window, just when Lionel Messi joining PSG or even Romelu Lukaku returning to Chelsea seemed the biggest moves, Manchester United went and upstaged everyone by luring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford. Indeed, when the announcement was made official, it almost broke the internet.
The official Manchester United website was down for some time, as eager fans from around the globe eagerly sought more information. Nobody had expected this deal to happen, despite constant speculation that Ronaldo’s days at Juventus appeared to be numbered. This is because he had also been heavily linked with Manchester City before the Red Devils were forced into action.
Despite the arrival of Ronaldo, the latest English Premier League odds from Betfair quote Manchester United at odds of 33/5 for the title. This current ranking places them behind the likes of rival teams including Liverpool at 6/1 and Chelsea at 14/5, while Manchester City are the odds-on favourites at 27/20. The current odds indicate hesitance to back the Red Devils, even with the return of such an iconic player.
United Dominated when Ronaldo last wore red
When Ronaldo last donned the iconic red shirt of Manchester United, it was during an era when they were still the dominant force in English football. During six spectacular seasons with the Red Devils, Ronaldo won three consecutive Premier League titles, the EFL Cup twice, the FA Cup once, plus the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
However, is it possible that Ronaldo can make the same kind of impact this time around? This is undoubtedly the biggest question surrounding this move, with the Portuguese superstar joining a completely different setup to the one he left in 2009 when he joined Real Madrid and went on to enjoy unrivalled success with the Spanish giants.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson ❤️— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 27, 2021
🏆 Two legendary Manchester United figures celebrate their Champions League success in 2008...
Who'd have thought Cristiano would one day return to Old Trafford? pic.twitter.com/i5wt8m3xcT
After winning everything there was to win at Real Madrid, including the UEFA Champions League four times in five seasons, Ronaldo headed for a new challenge with Juventus in Italy. Their ambitious target was to turn domestic dominance into European supremacy, which ultimately never materialised from a side shaped around his needs.
This inevitably poses questions as to how Ronaldo will fit in at Old Trafford. The 36-year-old told the official Manchester United website of his great relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, insisting “the coach can count on me for whatever he wants,” following his arrival. Nevertheless, it’s hard to escape the sensation that Ronaldo will expect to be the main man.
Only time will tell if Ronaldo move is success or not
Ronaldo has every right to be proud of everything he's achieved. Yet if he doesn’t help Manchester United win the Premier League in the next two years, his return to the club may be heralded as a failure. Of course, that brings an added incentive for Ronaldo to accomplish something truly special. Although only time will tell if this move was a genuine success.