Ronaldo to United: What are they smoking at Old Trafford?

By Richard Johnson

One of the best analysis of Manchester United’s current team that I’ve read is from my colleague Nurudeen Obalola, also a staunch United fan. He wrote thus: “United currently have a top-two attack, mid-table midfield and bottom-three defence.”

In the light of what we currently see of the team, you cannot fault Obalola’s analogy. And if you agree with him, as I absolutely do, then the question arises as to what is the need for the unnecessary media speculations that Cristiano Ronaldo could be on his way back to Old Trafford, five seasons after he left in a world transfer record to Real Madrid.

You’ve probably heard it too, haven’t you? It started like a rumour. All transfers start like rumours, anyway. And even if this is still in the realm of speculations, it may contain an element of reality if the body language of all involved is anything to go by.

First, as usual, the English media began flying the kite when Rob Shepherd suggested both parties (club owners and player) are interested in a deal but he (Shepherd) dropped a clanger that Ronaldo is demanding a small fortune as weekly wages before coming back to Old Trafford.

According to the rumoured details of the impending deal, the total package to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford and his take home pay over the course of his contract of four years could cost as much as £140million. Yea, you heard that right!

Don’t get me wrong. CR7 is a player that can improve any team, any day. Let me also add that he’s one of my favourite players to have put on the United jersey. But all of these beg the question: what does the club aim to gain by re-signing him?

Yea, he has developed into a better player than he was at United, but I strongly believe that anybody remotely connected to United – fans or management – who is clamouring for Ronaldo to return is just pining for a long-gone era which will NEVER come back in football.

In order to get him to produce what he did when he was last with us, then the club must ensure that the other personnel, both playing and backroom, who helped developed him from a shy 18-year old to become the world best player are all returned.

The fact – which many United fans, unfortunately don’t like hearing – is that no ONE team will be able to dominate English football the way United did under Sir Alex Ferguson and no club will give any manager the length of time Fergie had to create the kind of team and philosophy that he desired.

So, if you cannot bring Fergie – and the other players – who helped Ronaldo to become the phenomenal player he’s now back, then it will be foolhardy to expect that breaking the bank to bring the player alone back to United will the one-stop solution to the team’s problems.

Rather, Louis van Gaal should do the needful by overhauling the defence and shoring up the middle of the park with steel rather than chase shadows that will ultimately prove an illusion.

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