Manchester United officially announced the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo this week.
The footballing superstar returned to Old Trafford a decade after he left the club to join Real Madrid in a deal thought to be in the region of £12.85million.
The 36-year-old was initially linked with a shock move to Manchester City this summer but opted to return to United once the club made their interest official.
Ronaldo of course spent six trophy-laden years at the club, winning three Premier League titles, one Champions League, two League Cups and one FA Cup — as well as the Fifa Club World Cup and Community Shield.
With the Reds, he established himself as a maverick all-round attacker, capable of dribbling, creating and shooting from just about anywhere inside the attacking third. This made him a huge fan-favourite and is a key reason why so many fans can wait to see him back at Old Trafford in this coming season.
Yet it’s important to note that the Ronaldo who has returned to the club isn’t necessarily the one who left 10 years ago.
As he has reached the twilight of his career, he’s been forced to adjust his game, focussing almost all of his energy on attacking actions inside the penalty box, with little work outside of it.
The result of this is that he continues to be a ruthless goalscorer, highlighted by his total of 101 goals in just 134 appearances for Juventus, which includes 29 goals in 33 appearances across the campaign just gone, yet that goal tally comes at a price from a team perspective.
Ronaldo’s lack of all-around influence away from solely scoring goals means that he’s reliant on other players to carry the creative burden in order for him to still thrive.
And many sides — even some of those at the top of the game — don’t have enough top creative players to be able to make it worthwhile carrying such a luxury profile.
At United though, it’s different. They already have an excellent attacking infrastructure in place, thanks to the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho.
Building moves that progress towards the opposition’s goal is rarely an issue, but having the right player to finish them sometimes can be.
Ronaldo is that man though, and he’s set to hugely benefit from being fed final balls from such exquisite players, which should lead to plenty of goals and hopefully in the long run, another memorable chapter in the story of a true United great.