Man Utd XI with Cristiano Ronaldo: Graphic shows United's squad depth after signing

Fernandes, Sancho and Pogba

Manchester United fans were crying out for a defensive midfielder in the final week of the transfer window.

We don’t think they’re too fussed about that now, do you?

That’s because the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo will be returning home.

Quiz: Can you name the footballer based on their Wikipedia page?

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Who's this Spurs legend?

Do they need another striker? Not particularly. But will they be complaining? Not one bit.

United were already expected to challenge for the title following the signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane. Now, they HAVE to challenge for the title.

But how will Ronaldo fit into the starting XI?

Will he play down the middle? Will he play off the left? Will he even start?

Well, ESPN have done the hard work and, not only named United’s new best starting XI, but also looked at the depth the club now has.

Let’s take a look before we dissect it:

Man Utd’s squad depth this season

So, United’s best starting line-up looks to be: David de Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Yeah, not bad.

But then you look at all the players they can only make the bench – or left out altogether.

They include:

Dean Henderson
Eric Bailly
Victor Lindelof
Alex Telles
Donny van de Beek
Juan Mata
Jesse Lingard
Nemanja Matic
Daniel James
Amad Diallo
Mason Greenwood
Edinson Cavani
Anthony Martial

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United

Now, that’s what you call squad depth. The expectation will be for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to lead the club to Premier League glory.

And club legend, Gary Neville, believes the Ronaldo signing might just do that.

“Cristiano Ronaldo will be coming to win trophies, to win personal accolades and to set the Premier League on fire,” Neville told Sky Sports News.

“For Manchester United to get above Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, they were going to have to do something big and this could give them a temporary shot in the arm, which could potentially get them right up there.

“I was a bit fearful – watching Chelsea, knowing that City are going to be strong, Liverpool have got Van Dijk back – that Manchester United could improve but finish in a lesser position.

Gary Neville

“But this news gives me hope that they could have a great season.”

Neville added: “Look, it’s a little bit nostalgic and nostalgia doesn’t always work in football, sometimes it kicks you when you don’t expect it.

“But the idea of him going to Manchester City was torture for Manchester United fans. I think the fact that Manchester United – I said last week, that if a big player is available, Manchester United have to be in the market for that player.

“We know there’s the potential that [Erling] Haaland could be available next summer, Cavani probably has a year and if Cristiano can give a year or two years to Manchester United, they definitely need a centre-forward option along with Edinson Cavani.

“I know they’ve got Mason Greenwood, but if you’re looking at the business that Chelsea have done, that City were looking to do, I think Manchester United had to look to compete.

“I think what they’ve done here is bolster the squad with a proven goalscorer, a club legend and what it will do is give the club an incredible 12 months.

“You think about last season and fans not being in the stadium, Manchester United fans are going to be absolutely rocking this next 6-12 months, because they will see one of their own come back and play in the stadium.

“He will score goals and he will give them brilliant moments.”

Manchester United sign Ronaldo | Liverpool vs Arsenal | Man City vs Arsenal (The Football Terrace)

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