He’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Of course we want him back. It’s the question that doesn’t need answering following a struggling start to life under Louis Van Gaal, but what of course does need answering is what’s true, what’s not, and just when are we actually going to get him?
The story has gone into overdrive since rumours spread that he’d like to finish his career at United. Sir Alex has allegedly phoned him up, Guillem Balague says he dreams of a return, fans have flown a plane through Spain to make that come true, and Carlo Ancelotti has put that back to bed in what has already had more twists and turns than a Ronnie dribble.
The latest news is that we can expect another two years before the number 7 returns home, but will our desire for his return have quelled by then? And should we even be desperate back in the first place?
Of course this is Cristiano Ronaldo – he’s a player incomparable to anyone else on the planet, it would simply be the biggest return of all time – but by 2016, are Manchester United going to need a 32-year-old attacker earning £300,000-a-week?
It seems that we’re all getting caught behind the romance of it all, after all it is a lot more appealing when you’re drawing 0-0 with Burnley and being beaten 5-3 at the King Power, when we should be buying into Louis Van Gaal’s philosophy of bringing through the future of the club.
Ronaldo isn’t the future, he’s a part of United’s glorious past. No matter how good he is, or will be come being the age of 32, surely it should be the likes of Adnan Januzaj who will still only be 21 vying for that first team spot.
The Belgian’s talent is obviously going to become instrumental in future United sides but he’s already having his progression halted by the likes of Di Maria and Radamel Falcao brought into the fold, and if Ronaldo returns, the club could see a player with his whole future ahead of him a little frustrated.
The club right now don’t need a plan for the future as such, that will come, they need a quick fix and that seems to be mixing in with a Ronaldo move. It isn’t often the Reds aren’t odds on to finish in the top four but they are currently as far out as 8/5 with Betfred and Ronaldo’s goal would surely be to propel United back to where they belong, whether that be this season or the next.
As sad as it sounds United’s focus for the time being should be elsewhere. It doesn’t need mentioning that the defence and midfield need more attention than the wealth of riches already in place in attack, and what’s more, since when were United a team that bought players with only a few years of their career left? The biggest club in the world buy players that have their prime ahead of them like Di Maria, and Ander Herrera.
Of course there won’t be any complaints should Ronaldo return to Manchester, it’s the perfect script, but for the amount of money the club will have to put forward for a few years of his service and young players on the brink of being world-class it could keep out, it might not be a completely happy ending.
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