Cristiano Ronaldo: Five ways Man Utd can line up with Premier League icon under Solskjaer

  • Kobe Tong

Cristiano Ronaldo has made a sensational return to Manchester United.

Just hours after it looked as though the Portuguese icon would be signing for Manchester City, the stars aligned for him to complete a fairytale return to Old Trafford over ten years down the line.

However, once you look past all the understandably hectic excitement about one of the greatest players of all time returning to the Premier League, there are some key issues that need addressing.

Ronaldo returns to Man Utd

Besides, there is good reason to think that the Red Devils didn't really have a move for Ronaldo in their plans for the season and it could cause some tactical headaches for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It could, after all, be difficult to imagine where forwards such as Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani might fit into things now that Ronaldo has returned.

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Where was Cristiano Ronaldo born?

But fear not, because GIVEMESPORT is here to try and give you a clearer idea of how United might line up this season with one of their greatest ever players back in the fold.

In the end, we constructed five different systems that Solskjaer might play when Ronaldo starts, which range from what we think he'll actually play to some completely off-the-wall suggestions.

Ronaldo to Manchester United ON (Football Terrace)

But come on, Ronaldo has just re-signed for United, you'll forgive us for having some fun with it.

How Man Utd can line up with Ronaldo

So, without further ado, be sure to follow us down the rabbit hole of Ronaldo-related excitement by checking out five line-ups that really do put the 'Dreams' in 'Theatre of Dreams' down below:

1. Ronaldo leading the line

Is this a tad gung-ho? Probably, but playing both Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba is starting to pay dividends for the Red Devils and that can only continue with an all-time great leading the line.


2. A more conservative approach

However, if Solskjaer wants to pull up the handbrake during the bigger games, then United can still build their attacks around Ronaldo, but with Scott McTominay and Fred holding the fort in midfield.


3. Three at the back

But enough of the boringly realistic options because it's time to put on our tinfoil hats and imagine a world where Solskjaer revisits a three-at-the-back system which he used on occasion in 2020/21.

The prospect of Ronaldo striking up a partnership with Cavani, Greenwood or Martial really does make for a mouth-watering proposition, but cutting out Sancho and Rashford would be a blow.


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4. Ronaldo on the left

What a throwback this would be. It's hard to imagine Ronaldo starting games on the left, but this could make for a fascinating in-game switch if Cavani enters the fold with United chasing a result.


5. A Gerrard/Torres approach

While, yes, this might seem even more conservative than the 'McFred' approach, don't pretend that the idea of Ronaldo and Fernandes forming a bond similar to Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres' at Liverpool isn't exciting.

Granted, it might underuse Fernandes' energetic ability to play all across the midfield, but given his eye for goals and assists, playing him right behind Ronaldo could be a masterstroke.


Options for Solskjaer

So, there you have it, Solskjaer should have plenty of options to make a real success of Ronaldo's remarkable return to the Premier League.

There will be no shortage of pressure on the club legend to finally deliver silverware now that Ronaldo is back on their books and the Red Devils certainly aren't short of attacking talent.

However, with the club's concerns in defensive midfield having been papered over and ignored, you have to wonder whether United have enough across the broad to bring home the league title.



Then again, if any one player can inspire United to their first Premier League crown of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era then you can bet that their name rhymes with Wristiallo Geraldo.

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