Christiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United this summer has sparked enthusiasm among fans – and he has so far scored important goals – but will his absence at the club benefit him?
In one of the biggest deals ever in the Premier League, the 36-year-old left Juventus at the end of the season – just days after signs emerged he would return to rivals Manchester City.
But after scoring four goals in the first few games, he has scored just two goals in the next six games – although it was only two goals that gave United victory over Villareal and Atalanta in the Champions League.
United have changed their style of play to match the style of Ballon d’Or winner and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under increasing pressure as other clubs move farther away from the club after their defeat to Liverpool. 5-0.
Former team-mate Leonardo Bonucci sees Juventus as more of a target without him and former Liverpool and Scotland striker Graeme Souness does not think he should start playing for Ronaldo at United.
So, is Ronaldo helping United or is he talking them backwards?
Ronaldo’s three goals in six Premier League games have shown that he is back to winning ways – two in his first two games against Newcastle and two against West Ham in second – but as a rule, this is not the case. insight.
The last time he finished autumn with 50 per cent or less of the standard was in 2006-07, his fourth season at United when he scored 17 goals in 34 games.
That made him the third-highest scorer in the Premier League with Didier Drogba winning the Golden Boot with 20 goals.
It’s early – but 14 players have scored more goals in the Premier League this season than any other, including Wolverhampton’s Hwang Hee-chan and Watford’s Ismaila Sarr.
Instead, his prowess is in the Champions League – the most prolific league out there is the most prolific scorer in the league’s history with 137 goals.
His two goals gave United the top spot in their group and would not be the last team in the group.
His six goals for United took his tally to 124, with Madrid scoring the most in 450, and another in Portugal’s history with 115 goals, 101 for Juventus and five. who defeated Sporting Lisbon.
He’s played number nine recently, as he has been doing for years – unlike the winger the English fans first saw when he arrived from Sporting.
In the Premier League, he has touched 243 times but only 39 times in the team they play against.
Ronaldo is the eighth player with the most shots in the Premier League this season at 25, with United players Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes coaching him.
“He’ll score a goal to please the spectators, but I don’t think he can play any game,” said Sky Sports Souness.
“I will trust him, but I will tell him ‘you will not play in any game but you will be very effective in nine months.”
It’s about the impact it will have?
It can be said that there is no heroism. Statistics show that it does not have a visible effect.
Overall in the Premier League, he is one player – except for those who have played less than 15 minutes – more than Ronaldo has attempted to attack this season and is Everton goalkeeper Mason Holgate.
According to Statsbom figures at FBREF, Ronaldo was 384th in attempted attacks every 90 minutes and 385th in those who managed to attack. A total of 429 players, including goalkeepers, have played this season in the Premier League.
In comparison, Edinson Cavani – who played 26 times for United in the Premier League last season as a striker – attempted an average of 3.86 times every 90 minutes.
ESPN correspondent Mark Ogden told the BBC: “What has changed this season is Ronaldo.
“Cavani is in control. He is the one who inspires the spectators and inspires the rest of the team. If Ronaldo is not there, United will be more united.”
BBC Sport’s sports commentator Micah Richards said: “If Ronaldo is to be included, where is the style of play? Where is the balance? Of course, you will get Ronaldo. Put some behind him to do his job.”
At the top of the table, he is at the bottom of the list – the 208th with 195 players finishing above.
How did he change United’s style of play altogether?
There are several differences in the way United play this season: they are now more proactive, increasing the number of goals but also reducing the pressure.
“He can insist on being the best player of all, but in terms of making Manchester United better? No,” said Souness after Liverpool’s defeat.
Ronaldo won Serie A in his first two seasons at Juventus but last year they only finished in the top four, ending their nine-year reign as champions.
According to Juve defender Bonucci: “Last year we played for him. But this year the club should realize that Juve has been there before.
“I agree with Bonucci that Juventus have not been lickable since the arrival of Ronaldo,” former United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger told BBC Radio 5 Live.
He added: “Every club Ronaldo goes to, you can see that he has lost his mind. But even before he went to Juventus, he had nothing to lose.”
United currently sit seventh in the Premier League with 14 points from nine games, and top-placed Chelsea has eight points.
Last season Iwarhaka had 16 points but was ninth due to her ambush.
But they should go where they now know they have bought defender Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, as well as Borussia Dortmund strikers Jadon Sancho and Ronaldo.
Even at last year’s Champions League, United started on the right foot despite their problems in the Premier League.
But this year there is a difference in how they play and how Ronaldo has changed since his arrival.
For example, this year United have taken the ball from the sidelines because of Ronaldo’s ability to score from the top.
However, Ronaldo still scored one goal, and it was in their Champions League match against Atalanta, not the Premier League.
The Solskjaer-trained club is also more attacking and quicker than last year, although former England international Karen Carney believes there has not been a long-term change this year.
“They tried to change their style of play not just because of Ronaldo.”
“United are lucky to be out there because of their style of sacking,” said Karen.
But former Liverpool and Scotland striker Graham Souness said: “The biggest problem facing United is that the players don’t play as well as Ole would like.”
He added: “Compared to their Premier League counterparts it is clear there are players who are not doing the job they are supposed to do.”
In just one of six games, United have outscored their opponents with a ball in their hands and both with Ronaldo in it.
But nothing has changed in two of the three games before his arrival.
There is little doubt that Ronaldo has changed Manchester United this season.
With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under pressure at United, it is no surprise that the Norwegian has begun to figure out whether Ronaldo’s return is a good thing for him or not.