Manchester United Transfer News: Can Nick Powell Be the Next Cristiano Ronaldo?
That's the question being asked after Sir Alex Ferguson heaped praise on the teenage striker, who has confirmed his transfer to Old Trafford from Crewe Alexandra on a £3 million deal.
According to the Daily Mirror, Crewe's director of football and academy director Dario Gradi said that Ferguson convinced Powell to join United with the belief that he could have the same impact for the Red Devils that Cristiano Ronaldo first had when he arrived.
Alex [Ferguson] convinced Nick [Powell] that if he does well enough early doors, maybe if he goes on as a substitute, like Ronaldo in his early days there, then he would pick him. He said that when Ronaldo first went to United he was fantastic when he went on as a sub and so he picked him and he was equally fantastic when he started a game.
For Nick Powell, there is arguably no higher praise than the belief that he could be like Cristiano Ronaldo—especially when it comes a world-class manager like Ferguson.
After transferring to United from Sporting Lisbon in 2003 at the age of 18, Cristiano Ronaldo went on to spend an illustrious six seasons at the club and became one of the greatest players in world football.
At Old Trafford, Ronaldo netted over 100 goals across all competitions, won the English Premier League on three occasions, twice won the League Cup, won an FA Cup as well as Europe's highest honor, the UEFA Champions League.
His eventual £80-million move to Spanish giants Real Madrid set a world record.
For Powell—aged the same as Ronaldo when he made his move—such a comparison must give him the greatest confidence and belief that he too can achieve similar success at Old Trafford.
Powell is unlikely to find himself starting for United in the near future, with Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck holding down both striker positions and new recruit Shinji Kagawa likely to fill any other forward role. However, that's not to suggest that he won't find himself on the pitch at some point this season.
Gradi also drew the comparison between Powell and Chamberlain (via BBC): "[Oxlade-Chamberlain] is only a year or so older and probably not any more gifted, but obviously has shown that he can play in the Premier League, which Nick hasn't."
Powell no doubt has the ability and goal-scoring prowess to become a Manchester United legend—especially with the Red Devils likely to keep the teenager at the club this season.
At Old Trafford, he will join one of the strongest squads in world football. The experience and knowledge available at the club in Rooney, Scholes, Giggs and Ferguson himself will be invaluable to his development and success as a player.
Don't believe me? Just take a look at Cristiano Ronaldo.
He arrived at Old Trafford with natural skill and ability, was nurtured and grew into one of the greatest footballers of all time. He is not a complete by-product of Manchester United, but the club's impact on him cannot be underestimated.
Nick Powell has the same resources, knowledge and training available to him, and the same natural skill and ability to become one of the greatest strikers in the Premier League.
He could even be the next Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sir Alex Ferguson seems to think so.
Can Nick Powell become the next Cristiano Ronaldo for United?
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