Man Utd fans snap up Ronaldo shirts at Old Trafford
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Everybody associated with Manchester United is excited to see Cristiano Ronaldo in the club’s colours again. They may not admit it, but even his rivals and opponents, too. However, his return isn’t good news for everybody at Old Trafford. So Express Sport will now take a look at three players who may depart in the wake of the 36-year-old’s Hollywood homecoming.
Donny van de Beek
United thought they were onto a good thing when they signed Donny van de Beek a year ago.
However, 12 months on, and the Netherlands international remains on the fringes of the action.
His agent has confirmed Ronaldo’s arrival is bad news for his client, telling Ziggo Sport: “Cristiano arrived on Friday which we knew was bad news for us.
“Pogba plays on the left, and with Cristiano’s arrival it means another extra player in midfield, with Pogba moving away from the left.
And it’s just so hard to see where Van de Beek fits in.
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On the flanks, the Red Devils are well-stocked with Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho all capable of playing on the left wing.
And, in midfield, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also possesses an abundance of options.
Van de Beek won’t get in at No 10, with Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard both Solskjaer’s preferred options.
And he simply doesn’t have the discipline or defensive nous to dislodge the likes of Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic.
Therefore, it’ll be a real surprise if Van de Beek saves his Old Trafford career.
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When United’s signing of Ronaldo was confirmed to the world on deadline day, talk of Edinson Cavani potentially leaving arose.
He was linked with Barcelona but, in the end, a move to the Nou Camp failed to materialise.
But this is 99 per cent certain to be Cavani’s last season with the club, despite only joining on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in 2020.
Cavani was set to be their first-choice striker this season.
But with Ronaldo primed to play down the middle, it’s hard to see him starting the majority of matches.
Then, there’s his determination to return to South America.
Cavani wants to return home in the foreseeable future and, in March, told Ed Woodward that was going to happen this summer.
In the end, after a fine run of form, he performed a U-turn and decided to stay with the club.
Yet a big factor in that decision was his importance to the side.
And with Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood both capable of leading the line, it’s hard to see him staying around for much longer.
Anthony Martial scored for France against Ukraine recently and, in the aftermath, admitted the goal did him a world of good.
“It was a difficult match for us, we were able to come back to the score, it was the most important,” he said.
“It’s been a long time since I had not scored, so it does me a lot of good.”
But with Joel Glazer reportedly sanctioning his exit, Martial is now facing a huge season ahead.
He wants to be a striker but Ronaldo, Cavani and Greenwood are all better options.
So, if he can’t produce the goods, it seems just a matter of time before the France international leaves Old Trafford behind.
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