After tasting what it feels to have a class-act player in their squad after the arrival of Angel Di Maria, Manchester United fans have continued to thirst for more super quality players. A quick look around and you’d realise that you couldn’t name more than 4 other players who would fit this bill. One of them was forged at Old Trafford, yes! You guessed rightly… Cristiano Ronaldo. Since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, the Portuguese scored 84 goals in 196 matches for the Red Devils. Ronaldo became a house-hold name around Manchester and helped the club to several silverwares including the Champions League in 2008. Manchester United also became the first and till now, the only English Premier League outfit to produce a FIFA Balloon d’or winner when Ronaldo, after an awe-inspiring performance in 2008 clinched the award. Needless to say the winger had been closely monitored by a couple of big spenders, because in 2009, an £80m bid forced Manchester United to let go of their coveted player. Ronaldo has since gone ahead to score a whopping 190 goals in 171 appearances for the Bernabeu giants.
So when Angel Di Maria started to show flashes of brilliance, it brought about a nostalgic effect on the Old Trafford faithful making them crave for their long gone star. Although the winger’s agent has rebuffed the claims as mere rumours when he took the rare step of speaking publicly about one of his client’s future, the rumours have pestered.
Jorge Mendes, who is often referred to as ‘super-agent’ as he also represents Manchester United duo Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao has stated that enquires over Ronaldo will only be fruitless, and that although his client still holds the Old Trafford outfit dear to his heart, his immediate goal is to win another Champions League trophy with Real Madrid. So should Manchester United continue to plan towards Ronaldo? I have made the following analysis:
Although, in the near future, Ronaldo, if he makes a return will give Manchester United a major boost and likely bring back a large chunk of the fear factor that left the club after last season’s poor performance, but the Portuguese is almost 30-years-old and has a buyout clause of about £600m. While it is true that Real Madrid will narrow down the price in the event where they decide to consider a bid, is it wise for Louis van Gaal to splash so much for a player of that age? Ok. The winger has a massive fan base and as such Manchester United are expected to recoup almost, if not all of the signing fee from jersey sales alone… so this is a stalemate.
When Ronaldo arrive at Old Trafford, he will like to play either upfront or very close to the strikers, anywhere that can get him to face the opponent’s goal often. So this will mean a total redesign of the 3-man-prong that the Dutch boss currently uses. If the rumours about Juan Mata’s exit are true, then it means van Gaal will still have to sacrifice one of Rooney, Falcao and van Persie to create space for the current best footballer in the world.
Another fact his the rebuilding process currently going on at Old Trafford, if you take a closer look at the new entrants, you’d realise that the oldest is Angel Di Maria (26) remember Falcao is still a temporary member. This indicates that the new manager wants a crop of young and effective players who can carry on his philosophy for another 6 years at least. No matter how great Ronaldo is, he can’t maintain his form for that long.More so, where do the highly promising youngsters Adnan Januzaj and James Wilson fit into in all this?
Now, whichever way you chose to view it from, Manchester United can’t have it all from the prolific winger. So they can either spend that money on 2 other good players or gamble all the way on our wonderful Ronaldo…. Same way they gambled on Falcao.