The Three Major Options Manchester United Have To Replace Cristiano Ronaldo

It looks increasingly likely that CR7 will leave Old Trafford
14:24, 28 Jul 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United return simply hasn’t panned out as he would have hoped. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was heralded as a hero last summer as he walked through the doors of Old Trafford, having apparently rejected an approach from fierce rivals Manchester City. 

Twelve months on, this blossoming relationship has turned sour. If one footballing story proves you should never go back to your ex - it is this one. Ronaldo wants out, and is doing everything in his power to make sure that happens this summer, which leaves new boss Erik ten Hag in a sticky situation. 

Given Ronaldo has missed most of pre-season and will therefore be unavailable for the opening few games, the boss either needs to plan for life without him, or be certain of his exit so he can start making moves in the transfer window. Here are three options Manchester United could explore this summer, to fill the CR7 shaped hole at Old Trafford. 

Benjamin Sesko - The exciting teenager

When Ronaldo made his debut for Manchester United back in 2003, his potential replacement was just three months old. He’s the latest talent to come off the production line at RB Salzburg and the Daily Mail have dubbed him the next Erling Haaland. Hmm. 

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He did have a fantastic debut season with 11 goals and six assists from just 12 starts and at the age of 19, could be a sensational long-term signing for the club. The Austrian giants cheekily asked for £300m + Bruno Fernandes to get the deal done, and it would cost United a significant chunk of their transfer budget - but what a signing he could turn out to be. It will be out with the old, in with the new if Sesko is the chosen one. 

Ivan Toney - The Premier League option

Brentford’s Ivan Toney doesn’t feel like a ‘Manchester United player’ but perhaps that is why he would be the ideal signing to take some of the goalscoring burden away from the front three. Ronaldo was the sole main man for United last term yet the club flourished under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when the goals were shared. 

Signing Toney would give United a focal point, a natural goalscorer and a player, at 26, that is already proven in the Premier League. He also linked up nicely with new arrival Christian Eriksen last term, and another swoop for a Brentford star could get United rocking again. 

Anthony Martial - Stick not twist

Believe it or not, this is now the start of the Frenchman’s seventh season in Manchester. He’s no longer the £50m teenage starlet but instead a senior player in the United dressing room. In pre-season at least he has proven he can take on the goalscoring mantle and in a dynamic front three alongside Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, the Red Devils have looked fluid. 

Let’s also not forget that Fernandes was a pivotal player before Ronaldo arrived so the latter’s departure could ignite his goalscoring form once again. Of course, the major issue with not bringing in a new forward is the lack of squad depth, given Edinson Cavani also departed this summer.

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