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We'll start the other way around this time, analysing what United need to offer in the team to complement Ronaldo.
For some time, the centre of their midfield has been the subject of criticism and speculation over who might be signed to strengthen it—this despite United winning the league easily last season with their supposedly suspect centre of the park.
There's no doubt, however, that it is not as dynamic as certain other teams' and that if the entire XI wasn't so functional as a unit, it might not quite be strong enough to keep them at the top (as evidenced by their relative lack of success in the Champions League over the past couple of seasons).
With Tom Cleverley or Michael Carrick playing in the distributing, deeper role—not that the former is exactly defensive-minded, but he could benefit from operating in more space instead of having to be the constructor going forward all the time—United could use a real force of nature alongside them.
Someone who can get forwards at pace and recover defensively in transition periods. A midfielder who is honest enough about his responsibilities within the tactical framework of the team and who could cover tracking back for Ronaldo down the left channel at times. And, of course, someone who could do all that without compromising on quality on the ball and decision-making ability.
The name highest on the list who fits that particular bill might just be Shakhtar Donetsk's Fernandinho.
If United were to sign a player of his caliber for the left side of central midfield, it would grant Ronaldo so much more licence to merely attack and wreak havoc. It would give Ronaldo peace of mind with the knowledge that behind him was someone to stop all counter-attacks as they were being made, someone who would be good enough to receive the pass from the attacker as he moved infield whenever required.
The Old Trafford side would have to move quickly, though. Fernandinho is rumoured to be a big Manchester City target that they are close to signing, according to the Telegraph. Which club would the Brazilian choose, given the choice?