Rio Ferdinand fires warning to Solskjaer after Ronaldo’s Man Utd return

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Rio Ferdinand says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must win a title after Manchester United's summer splurge

The Red Devils legend feels another trophyless season is unacceptable (Pictures: FIVE / Getty)

Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must now deliver silverware following the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford.

The Red Devils have not won the Premier League title since 2013 in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season, four years after Ronaldo left the club for Real Madrid, while they have not won a trophy of any kind since the 2017 Europa League final under Jose Mourinho.

Solskjaer has lost four semi-finals since then, as well as last season’s Europa League final against Villarreal on penalties.

Rio Ferdinand says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must win a title after Manchester United's summer splurge

Ferdinand says Solskjaer will be aware he’s under pressure now (Picture: Getty)

But the club have backed their manager significantly this summer, spending big on Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane before Ronaldo’s re-signing was confirmed on deadline day, and United legend Ferdinand now feels the expectation levels have ramped up significantly.

Asked if Ronaldo’s return, coupled with United’s other new arrivals, has increased the pressure on Solskjaer, Ferdinand told JOE: ‘He’s got to win a title.

‘He’s got to win some form of competition because to have the type of window that we’ve had at Man United this year… it’s a beautiful window in terms of bringing winning mentality, genuine leaders, winners who understand how to go through gruelling seasons and win things.

‘So when you’ve added that, with genuine world-class talent, this is Ole’s squad now. This isn’t a bit of a hangover from previous managers. This is Ole’s squad. And that brings pressure. But Ole will know that.’

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There have been some suggestions that Ronaldo might be a bad fit for United’s squad and the move was motivated more by the desire to stop him joining Manchester City, but Ferdinand insists that is not the case.

He continued: ‘People are saying this type of madness, but this guy, he was the top scorer in Serie A last season.

Cristiano Ronaldo in Manchester United Training Session

Ronaldo netted 29 times in Serie A last season as Juve finished fourth (Picture: Getty)

‘So if Man United are buying the top goalscorer in Serie A it can’t be like, “Oh we’re only going to buy him because someone else was going to buy him”. It makes sense, he’s going to get you goals.

‘Not only that, he’s going to bring you a whole new raft of supporters, another underbelly of new supporters. [The club’s] social media following has gone through the roof, the share price went through the roof immediately, broke records with shirt sales.

‘So financially – even when you forget about on the field – it made sense. But the overriding factor is, as a football player, is he still good enough? It’s not in question.’


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