11 years after Ronaldo’s United debut, can one of the current crop have similar impact?

On this day 11 years ago, Cristiano Ronaldo made his Manchester United debut.

On Saturday August 16 2003, a gangly Portuguese teenager took to the field at Old Trafford and turned one of the world’s most famous football pitches into his own personal playground.

That player was Cristiano Ronaldo, who arrived as a substitute in United’s Premier League match against Bolton Wanderers and subsequently announced his talent to the world.

The score was 1-0 when Ronaldo arrived shortly after the hour mark, but by the end of the game United had run out 4-0 winners, courtesy of a scintillating performance from the youngster.

We all know what happened next, and we are well aware just how good a player the former unknown quantity became. But exactly 11 years on from that day, who will be the next United youngster to make a name for themselves at Old Trafford?

There could be a debut or two in this afternoon’s match against Swansea City, with Tyler Blackett and Jesse Lingard the most likely candidates.

And given his talent there is no reason the latter cannot dazzle just as Ronaldo did all those years ago.

United may not currently have a player with the innate ability of their former Portuguese wonder, but that does not mean all these years on another player cannot stake their claim to be a future great when the action kicks off this weekend.

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