Paul Ince has suggested Cristiano Ronaldo boosts Manchester United’s chances, yet doesn’t make them title contenders ahead of Chelsea and Manchester City.
The pressure mounted on Manchester United late in the transfer window to sign a centre-forward. While Manchester City were in for Harry Kane, Chelsea signed Romelu Lukaku to boost their title credentials. United were seemingly heading into the long season with Edinson Cavani as their only viable no.9, with Anthony Martial struggling.
However, Manchester United managed to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo, 12-years after he left the club. The signing was heralded by many as the perfect boost to help the club win the Premier League title, although the feeling is not mutual among everyone associated.
Paul Ince believes signing the Portuguese ace does give the club a much-needed lift, but doesn’t make them real title challengers ahead of their rivals Manchester City and Chelsea. The former Manchester United ace does consider the signing as a ‘great piece of business’ but feels, the club may not push ahead of their title-challenging rivals.
Some encouraging quotes appeared on Tribal Football, where Ince discussed at length the Ronaldo transfer as well as what Manchester United actually needed in this window.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 31, 2021
Ince said, “I think Manchester United needed a lift. You thought if Manchester City got Harry Kane it was going to be all over. Then (Romelu) Lukaku goes to Chelsea and you think, ‘Wow’. United needed a centre-forward for sure.”
“Then suddenly, bam, Ronnie’s back in town and comes to Old Trafford. It’s great for United fans, it’s great for the team. You put him alongside (Raphael) Varane and they are serial winners. Even with Ronnie I still think United are a bit behind City and Chelsea, but they are a lot closer than they would have been.”
Ince further suggested Manchester United desperately needed to sign a suitable midfielder in the window. The club made some excellent signings in attack and defence but failed to address the calls to sign a midfield controller.
Ince continued, “The midfield is an area that’s not really been touched…(Jadon) Sancho is going to be a top player, but surely the priority should have been to get a top-class midfielder. I don’t think we’ve got that. If you look at the spine of the team, you’ve got (Harry) Maguire and Varane at the back and the likes of Ronaldo and Rashford up top, it looks strong, but in that middle area it looks a little bit open.”
The need for a midfielder indeed remains for Manchester United, but it remains to be seen if Cristiano Ronaldo can galvanize the team enough to win the Premier League title this season.