Man Utd fans snap up Ronaldo shirts at Old Trafford
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Manchester United wanted to sign Eduardo Camavinga and Saul Niguez before they eventually landed Cristiano Ronaldo, according to reports. The Portugal international has scored five goals since returning from Juventus. But frailties within Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad remain.
Manchester United had a good transfer window.
Tom Heaton was the first player to sign, with the veteran arriving to provide competition for David De Gea and Dean Henderson.
United then snapped up Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, ending four years of intense speculation in the process.
They recruited Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, too, a decade after Sir Alex Ferguson had first attempted to bring him to Old Trafford.
Then, on deadline day, United secured the blockbuster return of Ronaldo.
The Portugal international had looked set to join Manchester City instead, especially with Pep Guardiola’s side missing out on Harry Kane.
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But, after United got involved, he was only interested in a Hollywood homecoming.
And Fabrizio Romano, speaking on his YouTube channel, has claimed United hadn’t originally planned for the deal to happen.
Instead, they’d intended to sign one of Camavinga or Saul.
Camavinga was at Rennes at the time but, since then, has joined La Liga giants Real Madrid.
And Saul left Atletico Madrid for Chelsea, though has endured a problematic start to life in the Premier League so far.
United, consequently, have been forced to go with what they’ve already got.
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Scott McTominay and Fred aren’t universally popular but, in the eyes of their manager, they’re vital assets.
And while Nemanja Matic is entering the twilight years of his career, the Serbia international is still an important figure at the club.
Meanwhile, regarding Ronaldo, Danny Blind thinks they’re reliant on the Portugal international again.
“What is the identity of this Manchester United team? What is his plan?” he said.
“It is exactly that what is missing with Solskjaer.
“There is not a tactical plan. His team are not able to put pressure on their opponents like Manchester City.
“It does not always have to be full pressing but we don’t see any of it – everything in the United team is based on the individual qualities of players.
“They have those qualities and it often gets a result for the team. But it is never a team result. It has not been looking good in a number of matches.
“United struggle to be dominant – that is the whole problem.”
And he added: “After they took the lead against Everton they started to wait for them in their own half.
“They want to score on the counter. But that is not good enough for a club like Manchester United.
“The next thing that you see is how they struggle to turn the game around when Everton equalised. They hardly created any chances.
“The results are not good. He lost against Young Boys, against West Ham in the cup, against Aston Villa and they were lucky against Villarreal because of Ronaldo’s quality.
“Against Everton, another draw. And they only just got away with that result.
“It has to improve and it can improve. We cannot say that Solskjaer has had a long career at top level as a manager before United.
“Yes, he was a champion in Norway. But that is a different level. I know why he gets more time than other coaches, he is a child of the club.
“He scored that legendary goal in 1999 which helped them win the Champions League.
“But all that is not enough for what is being produced right now.”
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