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Despite Ronaldo signing, Man Utd will finish third - Gary Neville

Sun 29 August 2021 | 8:29

The ex-defender doesn’t believe the Portugal international’s return to the Red Devils is going to be enough for them to grab the title this season.

Gary Neville

thinks that

Manchester United

will end the 2021-22 Premier League season third on the table, with the former defender insisting that they are behind

Manchester City

and

Chelsea

.

Striking a deal with

Cristiano Ronaldo

was one of the coups of the summer pulled off by

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

’s side, with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner set to come back to United after 12 years.

The Red Devils’ fans are hoping his return can inspire the team to Premier League glory, but Neville believes that won’t be the case.

The Portuguese will meet with

Raphael Varane

, his former Real Madrid teammate, and

Jadon Sancho

, but Neville believes that Chelsea and Manchester City are the strongest sides in the Premier League now.

"

In years gone by, I might have said this Manchester United side would have won the Premier League by 10 points but it's such a strong Premier League this one,"

the former Red Devils full-back told 

Sky Sports

.

"I made the prediction on Monday Night Football that it would [finish] Manchester City, Chelsea and [then] Manchester United and I'm not going to change that because I don't think the Ronaldo signing makes them a better team than Chelsea, who were the Champions League winners last season, and Manchester City, who were 20 points clear.

"Absolutely it brings them closer to winning the title. Do I think they will win the title at this point? No I don't, but now I'm more excited about Manchester United challenging for the title than I was maybe five or six days ago.

"Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane will have the mentality to win the title. I'm desperate for them to win the title. Do I think they'll win the title this season? No. I'm just being pragmatic.

"You have to be in for these players if you're Manchester United. Whether that wins you the title or not, I'm unsure. It gives them a far better chance than they had 48 hours ago."

Ronaldo met the back of the net 118 times in 292 games during his first time in Manchester from 2003 to 2009, contributing to three Premier League wins and the Champions League, but Neville thinks the 36-year-old is a different player now.

The United great does believe Ronaldo’s signing was needed and other players will learn a lot from the icon when he is scoring goals for United.

"

It's a short-term measure, as is Edinson Cavani,"

said Neville.

"They can't get one of these top strikers; Erling Haaland, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku were never going to come to Old Trafford this summer. So I think they needed it because they haven't got a 25-30 goal a season striker.

"Ronaldo gives you a guarantee of goals and he'll make the whole place be electric for the next few months. The standards he should set in that dressing room, the way in which he should influence those younger players, there are some younger players who need some really good standards putting into them.

"He's not the player he was. He was a dynamic, running player 12 years ago. He's now going to be a box player, he's going to make brilliant movements in and around the box to score goals, but there are enough legs in that team around him that will enable him to stand up there and do what he does best in this period of his career.

"He hasn't come for Champions League places. He's come for personal accolades and titles. I hope he can be the difference. Because if he can get 10 per cent out of every other player, there's a big chance."


source: SportMob

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