Ince backs Ronaldo to make Cantona impact at Man Utd

EXCLUSIVE: Cristiano Ronaldo was unveiled as a Manchester United player on transfer deadline day – and Paul Ince has sent a warning to his former club

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Ronaldo ‘won’t be distracted’ by Man Utd say Portugal colleagues

Paul Ince reckons Cristiano Ronaldo can be the catalyst to end Manchester United’s wait for the title – just like Eric Cantona before him.

Cantona’s arrival inspired United to end their 26-year title wait in 1993 and Ince – a member of that team – reckons Ronaldo’s return can do the same almost 30 years on.

United’s last Premier League title came in 2013, when Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down, but Ince, 53, believes with Ronaldo on board, they have the best chance of becoming champions again.

“Cantona was probably the final piece of the jigsaw that was missing for us, although we should have won the title the season before,” said Ince

“When Cantona came in, we already had a great team. United haven’t got a great team right now.



Manchester United via Getty Imag)



Manchester United via Getty Imag)

“They’ve got a very good team, which they’re trying to make great, but Ronaldo can be the driving force for that.

“His arrival will lift the fans and lift the players. You’re talking about a serial winner, one of the greatest players to ever grace a football pitch.

“Every player, when Ronaldo walks through the door, will be lifted. That will heighten the intensity on the training ground and when they walk out at Old Trafford.

“He’ll have that effect. He can show the players what it’s like to be a European winner, a Champions League winner.

“He knows how to conduct himself on and off the pitch, how to train, what to eat. That can only benefit United and their pursuit of winning the title.

“But he’s not going to be the Ronaldo of 12 years ago, running up and down the wing. He’s a centre-forward now and it’s important United have the players to get the ball to him.”

Despite the euphoria surrounding Ronaldo’s return, Ince warned his old club they still have to develop the consistency required to go all the way and win the title.

“With Ronaldo, United will believe they can challenge for the title,” said Ince.

“Ronaldo will help close the gap on their rivals. Whether he closes it enough to the extent they can win the title, only time will tell.

“What United have got is game-changers. If they’re not playing well, they’ve got players who can do things in certain moments, like Mason Greenwood did at Wolves.

“But that’s not enough. You have to have the consistency the likes of City, Chelsea and Liverpool have and keep producing, week-in, week-out.

“Ronaldo knows that and he’ll be demanding that from his team-mates, he’ll be demanding that of himself, right from the start, because that’s what it’s about.

“His attitude will be ‘I’m here, I want to win, I want to leave this club with a legacy, knowing I can return at 36 and bring the title back’. That’s what will be in his mind.”

Paul Ince was speaking after being inducted into the National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame in Manchester

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