MANCHESTER UNITED legend Bryan Robson admits he was surprised that Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t choose to end his career at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese spent six successful seasons at United, winning the Champions League and three Premier League titles before moving to Real Madrid.
Ronaldo was heavily linked with a return to the Premier League this summer after making it clear his time at the Bernabeu had run its course.
But instead of completing a fairytale United homecoming, Ronaldo joined Serie A giants Juventus in a deal worth £88m.
And Robson believes the 33-year-old would have provided a huge boost to Jose Mourinho’s side in the Premier League title race.
“Someone like Ronaldo can change your season.”
Man Utd legend Bryan Robson
“I was surprised that Ronaldo didn’t finish his career at Real Madrid or Manchester United,” he told the Manchester Evening News.
“That was a surprising move when he went to Juventus. Someone like Ronaldo can change your season. It can happen.
“But the defining moments for our lads will be how well we do against the bigger clubs who are going to be challenging for the Champions League spots and the title.
“If United have a really good season against that opposition, anything can happen.
“People are saying it’s similar with 92/93 when we had a slow start but went on to win the title.
“I think this squad definitely can challenge and be up there. It was a little bit disappointing a start. Everyone understands that.
“But there have been a few performances, Antonio Valencia coming back into the team, Nemanja Matic, some of the World Cup players looking that bit sharper in the Burnley game.
“You can see the balance and shape of the team coming together.”
Despite the rumours linking Ronaldo with a return to United during the summer, Mourinho insists the transfer was never offered to him.
“Cristiano was never on my table to say yes or not to Cristiano to come to us,” he said.
“It was never on the table.”
Following the international break, United return to Premier League action next weekend with a trip to unbeaten Watford.