The biggest surprise in this saga hasn’t been that Manchester United have once again been strongly linked with re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo, but that some Red Devils fans seem less-than-enamoured with the idea.
The main concerns appear to be his age and price tag. But the positives for United would far outweigh any – largely erroneous – worries surrounding the Portuguese.
His end product is incredible
And it shows little sign of slowing up.
The 32-year-old netted an astonishing 42 times in 46 games for Los Blancos last term, chalking up 14 assists along the way. In case you were wondering, that’s nine goals and two assists fewer than he managed during his debut season at the Bernabeu, in his mid-twenties.
He’s also continued to show the same incredible knack for making the impact on the biggest stage and under the biggest pressure. As well as netting twice in the 2017 Champions League Final, he also scored five times in Real’s last three games of the La Liga campaign, as they won the league title on the final day.
With Man United having lost their most talismanic performer – in the shape of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – this summer, they could fill that gap in the best way possible with football’s ultimate big-game performer.
Jose got the best out of him
While Ronaldo’s current goal tally is still hugely impressive under current Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, three of his four highest-scoring seasons as a player came under the tutelage of now-United boss Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese gaffer ended Los Blancos’ four-year wait for the La Liga title in 2012, and the former Sporting Lisbon ace was unquestionably the key man on the field, directly contributing to an incredible 75 goals in 55 games.
With the pair having such positive experiences of working together, and Ronaldo already 100% proven in dealing with the rigours of Premier League football, there’s every reason to believe the duo could reunite to devastating effect on these shores.
He’s a link to Fergie-era success
Despite lifting two trophies last season, United are still rebuilding the ‘winning mentality’ so prevalent during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign – a facet largely dismantled by first David Moyes, and then Louis van Gaal.
And if the club want to keep rebuilding that steely obsession with victory, there’s no better man to bring in than Ronaldo.
The Madeira native lifted eight major honours in six seasons at Old Trafford, including three league titles and a UCL crown – netting in the 2008 Final in Moscow.
Combine that first-hand knowledge of how to function in a world-class United side with the fact the prolific striker remains an obsessively driven and focused performer, and he could be the catalyst for one of the world’s biggest clubs to rediscover their peak.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing