Ronaldo is set to lineup alongside Rashford once his new Manchester United team-mate is back in action following injury, though the pair have already got a good relationship
Excitement is continuing to build around Cristiano Ronaldo’s impending appearance at Old Trafford to make his second debut for the club.
It’s been 12 years since the Portuguese superstar roamed the corridors of the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ and left fans marvelling at his contributions out on the pitch.
None of his former team-mates are still plying their trade amongst the playing squad, though he was greeted by a friendly face at Manchester Airport when Darren Fletcher turned up to welcome him back.
Ronaldo does of course have a good relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer already, plus first team coach Michael Carrick and fellow countryman Bruno Fernandes.
But he is also likely to get a warm welcome from Marcus Rashford, who will no doubt still remember Ronaldo’s touching gesture to him back in January 2018.
Rashford was only 20 years old at the time, and was still making his mark in the United first team.
He was yet to be handed the No.10 shirt, though that was to come later that year when Zlatan Ibrahimovic departed – a sure indication of the faith United had in his ability.
And Ronaldo had already given the youngster a positive boost when he sent a shirt of his own to the promising United forward, with a message of support.
Still playing his football in Spain at that point, Ronaldo sent Rashford one of his signed Real Madrid shirts, and wrote on it: “To Marcus, keep up the good work.”
Rashford responded to the gesture by sharing a picture of himself holding the shirt up on social media, replying ‘thanks boss’.
Sadly Rashford still has a few more weeks before he can get out on the field with his new strike partner as he continues his rehabilitation from a shoulder injury.
Ronaldo looks set to make his second debut in United’s next Premier League clash with Newcastle on Saturday September 11, but Rashford is not expected to be back in full action until at least October.
Nevertheless, he was still enthused by the announcement of Ronaldo’s signing, tweeting: “Wow wow wow, he’s home.”
Once fit again, it is expected that Rashford could lineup on the left of United’s front three as normal, with Ronaldo occupying the lead striker role.
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Mason Greenwood’s form and the arrival of Jadon Sancho has added extra competition for places, with Solskjaer also having Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial to consider, but Gary Neville believes Ronaldo’s return is exactly what his old club were looking for.
“He’ll play regularly, he’ll play as a No 9, he’ll play as a centre-forward. I’m sure they’ll put legs around him. He will score goals,” Neville said on Sky Sports.
” Cristiano Ronaldo will be coming to win trophies, win personal accolades. Set the Premier League on fire, it is a different Cristiano Ronaldo.
“He is a No 9, he still has bursts of speed, he makes great runs inside the box. He has anticipation of where the ball is going to drop. What he gives to Manchester United, he gives them something they need.”