Man Utd will name a starting XI that is set to feature Cristiano Ronaldo this weekend but as anticipation grows both Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani face uncertain futures
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will name a starting XI for the first time with Cristiano Ronaldo at his disposal.
The Portugal star rejoined the club last month and is set to make his debut against Newcastle United on Saturday
It will be his first appearance at Old Trafford in red since 2009 with excitement reaching fever pitch.
But whilst the fans and the club feel like winners by capturing Ronaldo, some players could lose out.
United had a well stocked attack last season – that was before they added Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
Ronaldo’s surprise arrival now means the two new faces will be battling for a start with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial.
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The latter two face uncertain futures in Manchester.
Cavani made moves to leave the club last season before he eventually signed a one-year extension.
He has since handed his No 7 shirt to Ronaldo but could see his minutes massively slashed by the 36-year-old’s arrival.
Cavani has played predominantly through the middle since joining United, although he did play from out wide at PSG.
Nevertheless, a regular spot for Ronaldo would likely see the Uruguayan resigned to the bench.
Solskjaer hinted in Friday’s press conference that the Portuguese forward will be a regular, insisting he offers what they’ve been missing.
“Everyone evolves and develops throughout their career,” he said.
“Of course Cristiano is a different player to the one who left but he’s in such good nick still, he’ll be looking at the next few years to play as much as he can, score as much as he can.
“He’s a threat from direct set plays himself but also to be on the end of crosses.
“He’s adding something extra that we haven’t got.”
Anthony Martial could also suffer from Ronaldo’s arrival, having already been linked with a move away.
Manchester United via Getty Imag)
The Frenchman has been an enigma for much of his time in Manchester.
Despite signing back in 2015 the feeling is that we still haven’t seen the best of Martial, despite his obvious quality.
He’s been unable to nail down a regular position, chopping and changing between central and wide roles.
With Ronaldo arriving Martial’s only opening may now be in wide positions, but there is huge competition.
Solskjaer recently rebuffed the suggestion that he could leave, despite his struggles last term.
The 25-year-old only scored four times in the league last season but has been backed to turn that around this term.
“I have no plans whatsoever for him to play against us,” said the United boss.
“Anthony has come back strong and hungry, with the determination to prove his fitness and his quality.
“Last season was a difficult and disappointing one for him and you can see that little bit of grit between his teeth again.”
Should he and Cavani both be shunned tomorrow however it may spell the beginning of the end.