Rio Ferdinand has suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo will be the designated penalty taker at Manchester United ahead of Bruno Fernandes.
Man United signed Ronaldo from Juventus last month for a transfer fee of €23million after reports initially linked him with a strong move to Manchester City.
Ronaldo’s arrival at Manchester United will definitely improve United’s chances of winning at least a trophy this season. Also hands Solskjaer more goalscoring options at his disposal.
However, the returning of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner also means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now has a set-piece dilemma between Ronaldo and Fernandes.
Cristiano Ronaldo was United’s designated penalty taker before leaving for Real Madrid, where he also became the first-choice penalty taker. He did the same again at Juventus and is still the current penalty taker, ahead of Bruno Fernandes, with the Portugal national team.
Bruno Fernandes is regarded as the best penalty taker in the Premier League and one of the best in the world. Rivals fans have even nicknamed him as ‘Pernandes’ because of the reputation he has made for himself from the 12 yards.
Ferdinand expects Ronaldo, who recently missed from the spot vs Ireland on Wednesday night, to become United’s designated penalty taker while he backs Fernandes to take care of close-range free-kicks despite knowing that Cristiano Ronaldo has also made a name for himself from free-kick spots.
Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who should be Manchester United set-piece takers
“I think Bruno gives up the penalties, but doesn’t relinquish free-kicks and corners — unless he doesn’t take corners,” Ferdinand told FIVE. “Free-kicks around the box, he’s going to be on them I think.
“I think he will be. His record demands that he should do that. I think he [Ronaldo] takes the penalties, 100 per cent, they agree to give him the penalties, but free-kicks around the box I think Bruno is wiping the ball down and taking it from there.
“Bruno sees the bigger picture; ‘This guy can get us over the line to win trophies’.
“If that means his percentage of goal involvements goes down, but gets his hands on a big trophy, I know that he would take that all-day long.”
Manchester United will return to action next weekend when they host Newcastle United at Old Trafford in the Premier League. And if United win a penalty vs Newcastle, everyone will get to see who Solskjaer has decided to be his penalty taker.
Ronaldo is expected to make his second Man United debut against the Magpies, while Fernandes is also expected to be in the starting XI.
The pair helped Portugal beat the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday after Cristiano Ronaldo scored two late goals to stage a comeback win for the Portuguese in the World Cup Qualifiers first clash of the group stage.