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Cristiano Ronaldo will score 25 goals for Manchester United this season, according to former United winger Andrei Kanchelskis.
Ronaldo has hit the ground running since rejoining the club from Juventus, scoring six goals in eight matches.
He has jumped right back into his previous star role at Old Trafford, netting dramatic late winners in Champions League games against Villarreal and Atalanta.
Some pundits were worried about the 36-year-old’s ability to continue playing at the highest level, but Ronaldo has continued to show his importance to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Kanchelskis played for United between 1991 and 1994, winning two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and League Cup, and he says Ronaldo’s mindset is the key to his success.
“Some players are scared to move to a big team like Man United, because they won’t play and they think it’s better to play for small teams where you stay in the first XI every week,” Kanchelskis told the Star.
“You have to work hard in the training sessions. You have to perform better than the other players. It’s a big club with big expectations.
“Everyone has the same goals. If you move to Man United you must say, ‘I am a better player’, like Ronaldo.
“Ronaldo comes to Man United, he’s scoring goals in the first XI. It was a great move from Juve to Man United and great decision by the club. The fans love him.
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“[He’s a] great player, great man. This season I think he will score 25 goals.”
Ronaldo has scored more than 25 goals every season since the 2007/08 season – his penultimate campaign in his first spell at United.
And he shows no signs of slowing down this season, with his header in the 81st minute of the 3-2 win over Atalanta on Tuesday producing another moment to add to his growing collection.
However, United are struggling for form despite Ronaldo’s goalscoring prowess this season.
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Solskjaer is under pressure ahead of their Premier League home game against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.
But Kanchelskis thinks Sir Alex Ferguson’s early difficulties at United show that Solskjaer should be afforded time to turn things around.
“You need time. Fergie worked for many years at United without winning titles,” he said.
“Solskjaer needs some time. He would say to the fans: please wait for him, because it’s difficult. It’s difficult work.
“After Sir Alex Ferguson too many coaches don’t work out, like at Arsenal since Arsene Wenger left. Now there are problems. They need to allow some time for the coach.”
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
- Sir Alex Ferguson
- Premier League
- Manchester United FC
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