One of the most important signings Man United have made in a long time.
On Cristiano Ronaldo’s second debut for Manchester United, the legendary footballer returned to Old Trafford in the best possible way.
He scored two goals against Newcastle, and he lifted the entire crowd. The team looked buzzing to be playing with him, and the fans adored him.
The talk around the stadium was of a title charge. That Ronaldo wins trophies everywhere he goes, and he wouldn’t settle for less.
Both of those statements are true of course, but it is the latter that has ultimately led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer being fired.
When you sign Ronaldo (alongside Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane), you no longer have a choice. You have to win something, or at least challenge. What is the excuse otherwise?
There can be no talk about not having enough quality in the team, or leaders in the dressing room, when you’ve just signed one of the best players of all time, and one of the biggest personalities the game has ever seen.
Ronaldo’s presence kills Solskjaer
Solskjaer’s time at United until then was always one excuse after another. Despite not winning any trophies, or competing for the league, he was rewarded with a new contract, and it felt like he was going to be given an unlimited amount of chances.
Ronaldo changed that. Would he have played in the Europa League? Not a chance. Would the man nicknamed ‘Champions League Varane’ be okay with going out of the competition in the group stages? No way.
Even if you ignore all of his crucial late goals, or his game-winning moments, Ronaldo raised the standards at United, to the point that Solskjaer was never going to be able to survive.
His presence alone put so much pressure on Solskjaer, and showed exactly how unqualified for the job he was.
If United end up replacing Solskjaer with a competent, elite manager, maybe Ronaldo will go down as one of the most important signings in the club’s history, twice.