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Neville insists ‘different’ Ronaldo is what Man United ‘need’

Gary Neville backs Cristiano Ronaldo to give Manchester United ‘a shot in the arm’ after his blockbuster move from Juventus… but warns ‘nostalgia doesn’t always work in football’Cristiano Ronaldo will re-join Manchester United in a sensational homecomingIt was confirmed that Ronaldo is heading back to Old Trafford from Juventus Gary Neville has explained that Ronaldo is ‘different’ to his first spell at the club And he also believes his former team-mate may be what United need to push on By Daniel Davis For Mailonline

Published: 04:35 EDT, 28 August 2021 | Updated: 06:02 EDT, 28 August 2021

Gary Neville has told Manchester United supporters that they must expect a ‘different’ Cristiano Ronaldo – but believes the move is what his former club ‘need’ and will give them ‘a shot in the arm’.

A pulsating day of twists, turns and drama yesterday saw Ronaldo seemingly set to join City instead, only for United to swoop in and wrap up a deal with Juventus.

And after the club officially announced their former superstar’s comeback, Neville gave his assessment on the switch, and on what type of player Ronaldo is now. 

Gary Neville has told Manchester United supporters to expect a ‘different’ Cristiano Ronaldo

12 years on after leaving Old Trafford, Ronaldo has agreed to a sensational return this summer

Neville told Sky Sports: ‘He’ll play regularly (Ronaldo), he’ll play as a No 9.

‘He’ll play as a centre forward, I’m sure they’ll put legs in and around him, he will score goals.

‘And Cristiano Ronaldo will be coming to win trophies, win personal accolades, set the Premier League on fire. It is a different Ronaldo, everyone expected that.

Neville (right), a former team-mate of Ronaldo, says the superstar may be what United ‘need’

United officially announced they reached an agreement with Juventus over the £12.8 move

‘But he is a No 9, he’s a centre forward, he’s someone who to be fair still has those bursts of speed over short spaces that will cause problems.

‘He makes great runs inside the box, he has anticipation of where the ball is going to drop.’

Sportsmail reported how Ronaldo’s old mentor Sir Alex Ferguson contacted him to persuade him to join United instead of their fierce cross-city rivals.

Just two and a half hours after City insisted they would not be signing the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, United tweeted: ‘Welcome home Cristiano’.

Ronaldo touched down in Lisbon yesterday, and it was revealed he will join United soon after

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo is set to a sign a two-year deal for his second United spell

They have shaken hands on a deal which will see them pay an initial £12.8million and almost £7m in add-ons. Ronaldo is expected to sign a two-year contract.

Neville believes the sensational new addition to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad will give them a significant boost, and says they may now challenge for the title.

‘So in terms of what he gives to Manchester United, it just gives them something that at this moment in time they need,’ Neville added.

‘I said the other day I thought Manchester United should be in for Harry Kane if he’s available, they should be in for [Erling] Haaland, these types of players.

Ronaldo spent 40 minutes at Juventus’ training site yesterday to say goodbye to team-mates

‘For Manchester United to get above Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, they’re going to have to do something big.

‘And this could give them a temporary shot in the arm that would potentially get them right up there this year.’

Ronaldo, who was the top scorer in Serie A last season, is now in Lisbon, where he will undergo his medical to re-join United 12 years on from ending his first spell. 

He is showing no signs of decline despite his advancing age, having netted 36 times across all competitions in his final year in Turin, but Neville also issued a warning.

Neville has also warned that nostalgia ‘doesn’t always work’ ahead of Ronaldo’s second debut

‘Look, (it’s) a little bit nostalgic and nostalgia doesn’t always work in football, it sometimes kicks you when you don’t expect it,’ he said.

‘But this is – you know, the idea of him going to Manchester City was torture for Manchester United fans.’

Ronaldo’s first game back after signing for United is likely to come against Newcastle at Old Trafford on September 11. 

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