Tom Heaton thinks Cristiano Ronaldo will have 'pivotal' role in developing Manchester United youngsters

Tom Heaton says Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United could be ‘pivotal’ for the youngsters coming through at the club.

Both Heaton and Ronaldo re-signed for United after several years away after initially making their name at Old Trafford as youngsters. Ronaldo went on to become one of the best player’s of all-time with Real Madrid and Juventus and has already scored three times in two games since his return.

But while he was no doubt signed mostly for his on-pitch impact, goalkeeper Heaton believes Ronaldo could play a pivotal role in the development of the next generation by setting the standard around the training ground.

“I saw first-hand the work ethic and the desire and the drive that went into his journey to doing what he’s done,” Heaton told the club’s website.

“You know, we’re certainly seeing that same sort of desire and drive around the training ground in the first few days. Everyone in the building can take something from that. He’s the marker, the pinnacle of where everyone wants to be at so yeah it’s a brilliant addition obviously on the pitch but also behind the scenes.

“What he’ll do to the young lads in terms of what it takes, what it’s about will be pivotal I think.”

Ronaldo will likely line up for United against West Ham at the weekend, while Heaton could make his official debut for the club against the Hammers in midweek in their Carabao Cup third-round tie.

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