Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United will ‘challenge for the title’ following the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.
United confirmed the signing of Ronaldo from Juventus on transfer deadline day, sealing the return of the club great and five-time Ballon d’Or winner during the closing stages of the summer window.
Ronaldo finished as the leading scorer in Serie A last season and remains one of the world’s finest footballers despite his advancing years, with the Portugal captain in line for his second debut when the Red Devils host Newcastle in the Premier League this weekend.
Rooney – who won three league titles alongside Ronaldo during the Portuguese’s first spell at Old Trafford – says he has not spoken to his former teammate, but believes the 36-year-old will have a huge impact on the club’s dressing room and younger players.
“I haven’t spoken to Cristiano since his return and I won’t be going to the game on Saturday,” Rooney said, as per the Mirror.
“I’ve got a day off on Saturday and two of my sons have got their own games, so I’ll be taking them and being a taxi driver on Saturday.
“Obviously I follow Manchester United, I want them to do well, and I think it’s great for them that they’ve brought Cristiano back.
“His mentality will rub off on the younger players, especially, so I think it’s a great signing.
“Cristiano will know himself it’s not going to be as simple or straightforward for him as it was in Spain or Italy.
“It’s a physical league, but he knows that, because he’s played in it before, so I’m sure he’s prepared and ready to go and score goals again for United.”
Rooney believes that Ronaldo remains ‘one of the best players in the world’ and has backed the marquee arrival to deliver some ‘big moments’ throughout the season, insisting that United are now finally ‘ready’ to challenge for the Premier League title.
“An enormous one,” Rooney said, when asked what impact Ronaldo can have. “He’s one of the best players in the world.
“We saw, in the game against Ireland, what he does. Last couple of minutes, he scores a couple of goals, great headers, so he can have a massive impact on the Premier League.
“I think United are finally ready to go and challenge for the title, and I really feel they have to, this year.
“So Cristiano’s going to be a very big player, I think he’s going to have big moments in the season and I’m sure he’ll score a lot of goals.”