The confirmation of Old Trafford legend Cristiano Ronaldo has been the story of the transfer window this summer.
Twelve years after departing British shores to join Real Madrid, the global superstar completed his sensational return to the club where he rose to prominence on Tuesday August 31.
In a whirlwind couple of days for the 36-year-old, it appeared ‘CR7’ had all but completed a move to fierce rivals Manchester City, with rumours of a transfer to the Premier League champions ignited when he was spotted boarding a private jet on Friday.
However, while his destination was Manchester, it wasn’t the Etihad Stadium, but rather his old stomping ground Old Trafford where he jetted in for talks. His former team mate and current Red Devil’s boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer commented saying that the forward knew “we are here” should he be interested in a return.
Just five days later, Ronaldo put pen to paper to complete his sensational return.
For Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers, the transfer deal has led to a dilemma. Ronaldo – undoubtedly one of the best goalscorers of a generation – is an obvious choice for many, but having only just rejoined the club, will United boss Ole include him in the starting line up immediately?
Will Cristiano Ronaldo start for Manchester United next weekend against Newcastle?
Ronaldo is currently on international duty with Portugal ahead of their World Cup 2022 qualifying matches against Qatar and Azerbaijan but will link up with the United next Monday. So, should he avoid injury, will he start against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle side?
The first indication that you should include the forward in your squad is that manager Solskjaer has said he “hasn’t been signed to sit on the bench”.
However, it is worth noting that it has not been confirmed if he faces mandatory quarantine following his move.
His late brace against Republic of Ireland on Wednesday emphasised the importance he still holds to his national side and means he is likely to be included in the starting XI for the away games against Qatar and Azerbaijan, both of whom are not on the green list currently.
The Norwegian manager added: "His last game is on the Tuesday. We'll get him back to Manchester with Bruno (Fernandes) and, hopefully, he will be involved as soon as possible.”
Following his side’s 1-0 victory over Wolves on Sunday, Solskjaer told the BBC: “I hope he will (face Newcastle). We're working to get that done. He's a special boy, or man now, he was a boy when I played with him. Of course, we want to get that over the line.
"Of course the players are excited, some have played with him in their national team. You see the fans - they're excited. That's what he does, he's a special player."
Who are the alternative options to Cristiano Ronaldo in my Fantasy Premier League squad?
Michael Antonio – West Ham United (£7.9 million)
The former Nottingham Forest just can’t stop scoring this season and has already racked up 40 points for those who have him in their squad. He will likely line-up against Southampton away, whose back line is not known for being pacey. Expect him to continue his goalscoring exploits.
Alexandre Lacazette – Arsenal (£8.4 million)
The Gunners have had a horrendous start to the Premier League. They will be relishing the change to get their first three points on the board against Norwich City, who have conceded 10 goals already this season – more than any other team in the top tier. Lacazette has scored important goals for Arsenal ever since he joined and should be among the goals next weekend.
Danny Ings – Aston Villa (£8 million)
The England striker is a goal machine and started his Villa career by bagging goals in their games against Newcastle United and Norwich City.
They may face Chelsea away from home on September 11, but Ings has a knack of scoring goals against the top four and Villa now have a squad more than capable of surprising the Blues.
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