Cristiano Ronaldo will have to share Manchester United set-pieces with Bruno Fernandes according to Rio Ferdinand, who says the latter will give up penalties but not free-kicks.
United reached an agreement to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford from Juventus on Friday, with the reported €23 million (£20m/$27m) transfer set to be finalised before the summer window slams shut at midnight on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old was a talismanic figure in his first spell at the club between 2003 and 2009 and will likely be the focal point in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s attack for the rest of the season, but Ferdinand doesn’t think Fernandes will be pushed to the side.
Fernandes has been involved in more goals than any other United player since joining the club from Sporting CP in January 2020, with many of his efforts coming from dead-ball situations.
Ferdinand is expecting the Portuguese playmaker to hand penalty duties over to his compatriot, but sees no reason why he should also step aside from free-kicks given his impressive scoring record.
“I think Bruno gives up penalties but doesn’t relinquish free-kicks and corners,” the former Red Devils defender said on his FIVE Youtube channel. “The free-kicks around the box, he’s going to be on them I think. I think his record demands that he should do that.
“He takes the penalties, 100 per cent. They agree to give him the penalties but I think free-kicks around the box, Bruno’s just wiping the ball and putting it down.”
Ferdinand does however think Fernandes will be happy to pass the main goalscoring burden onto Ronaldo as United seek to bring a frustrating five-year trophy drought to a close.
“I think Bruno sees the bigger picture, that this guy can get us over the line to win us trophies,” he added. “If that means my percentage of goal involvements goes down but he gets his hands on a big trophy, he’d take that all day long.”