Assessing how Cristiano Ronaldo’s return will impact other players at Manchester United

Manchester United have truly transformed into title contenders overnight with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo. Manchester United hijacked Manchester City’s plans of signing Cristiano Ronaldo. The news that Cristiano Ronaldo could be heading for Manchester City, Manchester United fans went bizarre and their former players were shocked and in denial. A few hours into the day, things took a U-turn, and suddenly Manchester United were rolling out the red carpet to welcome Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.

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There is no need to ponder over how good a signing he is going to be for Manchester United. He outscored Romelu Lukaku by six goals in the Serie A in the 2020-21 season at Juventus. So the Red Devils are getting a proven goalscorer who is also very familiar with the club. But Ronaldo’s arrival has more significance and impact on his new teammates. His work ethic and mentality could rub off on Manchester United’s youngsters. Their playmakers could benefit from having one of the best forwards in the world.

Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw is one of the most improved Manchester United players under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Since the beginning of last season, Shaw’s contribution in the attacking half of the pitch has improved massively. The England left-back is one of the main creators for Manchester United. Shaw’s crossing, in particular, has improved drastically over the past couple of seasons. His crossing ability improved and he created 7 big chances in the premier league.

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He registered six assists in all competitions last term. Cristiano Ronaldo is a fox-in-the-box like no other from which Shaw will benefit from his Goal-poaching skills. His chances will be converted at a better rate as he could always float some lovely crosses in for Ronaldo, who is nearly indomitable in aerial duels. Luke Shaw could be one of the top assisting left-backs in the league if he continues to create chances for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho is one of the best wingers in the world and he is just 21-years-old. He is one of the signings of this summer and he will improve Manchester United’s attack. At Borussia Dortmund, Sancho struck up a wonderful partnership with Erling Haaland. Sancho and Haaland fed off each other and their link-up play was brilliant and effective. He could do the same with Ronaldo, who loves playing alongside attackers who are pacy and skillful. He could hug the touchline and take on defenders to create chances for Ronaldo. Cristiano Ronaldo is the king of counter-attacks and players like Sancho and Rashford have the kind of pace and ability that could give defenders nightmares.

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Ronaldo had a good relationship with Bale at Real Madrid where Bale provided 14 assists in laliga which came at a good rate as he was sidelined for the majority of his career at Real Madrid. Sancho and Ronaldo could have the same relationship. Ronaldo’s arrival allows Sancho to more or less stick to his ways of old to combine and create alongside a prolific goalscorer. With the pressure off him and going under the radar due to Ronaldo getting all the attention, Jadon Sancho could put his head down and focus on settling in and adapting to the league and his players.

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba’s shackles are finally off. Turns out the Frenchman works best when he is deployed as an attacker with the freedom to roam and not as a central midfielder with defensive responsibilities. Pogba has already registered five assists in two Premier League games playing in his new role, and there’s no indication that Pogba won’t play on the wing when Ronaldo starts as he will play as a No.9 most of the time. Pogba’s contributions at Manchester United are underrated.

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The Manchester United midfielder’s numbers don’t look extraordinary but he is still one of the best creative playmakers in the world as he created four big chances and three assists in an on-off season. But he certainly means business this season as he has five assists in 3 games which are already more than his tally last season. With a proven goalscorer like Cristiano Ronaldo in the team, Manchester United can finally benefit from the vision, creativity, and technical prowess of Pogba. Ronaldo’s movement is elite and it’s hard to find a player who is better at playing well-weighted through balls to release his attackers than Pogba.

Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo play for Portugal and they have not been a deadly duo in international tournaments. This is because Fernandes has played as a box-to-box midfielder in a 4-3-3. In the Portuguese camp where he is not as higher on the pitch to affect the game. Bruno Fernandes has looked ineffective in that system under Fernando Santos. But at United, this could change as Bruno plays in the No.10 position and will be able to link up more with his Portuguese compatriot. In some periods of play, he positions himself as the second striker and he could benefit from having the luxury to link up with Ronaldo and play quick one-touch passes against a rigid defense.

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