The return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United is not guaranteed to improve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team and actually causes the Red Devils one or two unwanted headaches.
That’s the verdict of Steve McManaman, who believes the jury is out on whether 36-year-old can transform United into title contenders.
However, former Liverpool winger McManaman has explained to TEAMtalk why it won’t be all plain sailing.
Indeed, McManaman reckons Solskjaer will have to change the way his team play to adapt to the arrival of the Portuguese superstar.
“Ronaldo coming back, the glamour of it all, is great for the Premier League. But we have to wait and see if it works for him or United,” McManaman told us, in an exclusive interview at a BT Sport event.
“We will have to see how he sets up and how he fits into the style of play, whether he gets in the way of anyone else at United. We are waiting to see how it all pans out.
“Will he help their starting eleven? We wait to see. You can’t say for certain he will right now.”
McManaman reckons United will have to tinker with their line-up to accommodate Ronaldo.
Furthermore, he reckons his presence could prevent the development of two of their other young attackers.
“They will probably have to change the way they play slightly. He might stifle Mason Greenwood or Marcus Rashford, but it’s great that he is back in England. Everyone is excited to see what happens.”
McManaman names Man Utd’s best signing
Despite United signing Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, McManaman remains convinced Manchester City and Liverpool are the teams to beat in this season’s title race.
“Of all the signings United made, Varane is the one who will improve their starting eleven. There’s no doubt that Chelsea have improved by adding [Romelu[ Lukaku because they needed a proven centre-forward. But for me, Liverpool and Manchester City have teams that have proved they can go the distance in the Premier League title race,” he added.
“City and Liverpool are still the favourites for the title. We don’t know yet whether United and Chelsea can sustain the form needed to get to 99 points, which is what Liverpool got in the season when they won the title and what Manchester City reached in their title-winning seasons.
“As long as City and Liverpool are not decimated by injuries, I think they are the teams to beat this season.”
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