In case you haven't heard, since nobody likes to talk about, Cristiano Ronaldo has left Juventus and re-joined the club he played for between 2003 and 2009 that made him a household name; Manchester United, who made his transfer fee of around £20m back in just 12 hours through shirt sales alone.
Yes, he is back in the Premier League and that left fantasy football managers with one big question. How much is he going to cost? In his first stint Ronaldo was classed as a midfielder rising from £10m in 2006 to £14.2m just 3 years later bagging 66 goals and 29 assists in that time.
Upon his return, Ronaldo is now a forward, since wingers are classed as forwards in this game, and will cost you a whopping £12.5m making him the most expensive forward in the game and joint most expensive player with Mo Salah. So what can we learn from his previous stint in the best league in the world that would make us think he's worth the price on his head?
First of all Man United have a good-looking run of fixtures with them not playing any of the "Big Six" until Liverpool at home towards the end of October. Three of the five games before that, Newcastle, Aston Villa and Everton are also at home. The first games for Ronaldo are (if he starts, and why wouldn't he?) the aforementioned Newcastle and Villa with West Ham away in the middle.
Ronaldo has previously played Newcastle 5 times, bagging 5 goals, West Ham 5 times, with 5 goals, and Aston Villa 6 times netting 6 goals. All this information is available from our "Player Vs" page here. So you don't need us to tell you that that's a ratio of 1 goal in every game he's played against his next 3 opponents.
On top of that, our Head 2 Headtool tells us that Man Utd have won the last 3 meetings between these 2 sides by two goals or more. For those that like a bet, Newcastle have also scored on those 3 previous occasions so a BTTS bet could be a winner on Saturday.
There's been a lot of talk about penalty duty at United since Ronaldo's announcement. Bruno Fernandes has been the kick taker since he arrived in January 2020, who has scored 42 of 45 penalties in his career, a rate of 93%. That's significantly higher than Ronaldo's 83%, though he has taken have more having scored 139 of his 167 taken. There's been no official word on if Ronaldo will take over penalty duty but there's no denying, as well as being a superb free-kick taker, that he has that in his bag of tricks too making him even more tantalising for fantasy managers.
One further note, Anthony Taylor has recently been appointed the referee for this 3pm kick-off and the stats show that he loves a yellow card, also giving out his first red since December in his last game; Liverpool vs Chelsea. Even this early in the season he averages 3 yellows a game so it might also be worth a flutter on some cards to be dished out when this game kick offs.
With the match taking place at Old Trafford and the buzz surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo's return to the league you can't deny that even at £12.5m he's worth the punt, but it it worth taking Lukaku or Kane out to do it? 1.3m people think so, having put Cristiano in their team this gameweek, that's over 18% of managers (including myself) though as we all know, nothing is certain in football.