Cristiano Ronaldo has continued his iconic Manchester United legacy since returning to the club this summer, netting four goals in his first three games back. He isn’t showing signs of slowing down at the age of 36, but Ronaldo has recently been tipped to succeed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as boss at Old Trafford.
Ex-Premier League manager Tim Sherwood believes United’s current number seven could sensationally be at the helm in 2023.
He said: “That boy will be a manager, 100 per cent. I would have a bet on him being Manchester United manager in 18 months.”
Sherwood’s comments have prompted conversations about how the Red Devils would look with Ronaldo suited up in the dugout.
Express Sport explores how the Portuguese legend could line up as United manager, including three new signings.
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Defence: Dalot, Varane, De Ligt, Shaw
If Diogo Dalot remains at the club and continues his development, Ronaldo could prefer his fellow countryman to Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Luke Shaw has flourished into one of Europe’s best left-backs over the last year and will likely still be crucial for United in 2023.
Ronaldo won four Champions League titles with Raphael Varane at Real Madrid, and the Frenchman has started brilliantly in England.
Current captain Harry Maguire already doesn’t boast a great deal of pace, and he’ll be 30 in the summer of 2023.
Ronaldo could replace him with Matthijs de Ligt, who he played with at Juventus and is firmly one of the most promising centre-backs in Europe.
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Midfield: Neves, Pogba, Fernandes
United are in dire need of a defensive midfielder and were linked with Ruben Neves in the summer.
If the club still needed midfield personnel after Ronaldo took charge, his international teammate would surely be on his shortlist.
Paul Pogba seems more open to extending his United contract after Ronaldo, Varane and Jadon Sancho’s summer arrivals.
If the Frenchman stays, he could play alongside another Portugal international in Bruno Fernandes to make up the midfield three.
Attack: Sancho, Rashford, Benzema
Ronaldo would, of course, leave the squad if he was to become manager, and he could persuade former Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema to move to England to fill the void.
The 33-year-old is in his twilight years but continues to record stunning numbers for Los Blancos and could be interested in a new challenge.
United have plenty of attacking talent for the future, though, with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood all likely to be even better in 2023.