The Portuguese superstar’s contribution to Manchester United has been the subject of an ongoing debate ever since he returned to Old Trafford from Juventus on Deadline Day in August 2021.
Although Cristiano Ronaldo is the team’s top scorer with 15 goals in 27 appearances across all competitions this season, the 37-year-old’s lack of involvement in Ralf Rangnick ’s pressing game, frequent showing of frustration on the pitch and apparent leaks to the media have created issues at United.
Despite these numbers, Jamie Carragher believes that the club shouldn’t have brought Ronaldo back, and believes it would be best if the club will let him go at the end of the season.
“United made a mistake re-signing Ronaldo last summer. It will be a bigger one keeping him next season,” the former Liverpool defender wrote in his column for The Telegraph.
Man United made a mistake bringing #Ronaldo back, keeping him next season would be another on.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 18, 2022
Carragher insists the negatives outweigh the benefits with the Portuguese international, mostly due to the attention he attracts from the outside.
“There is noise generated every time after another disappointing result. There is noise every time a story is leaked about him “considering his future” at the end of the season.
“And there is noise when we notice the underwhelmed reaction whenever United score and Ronaldo is not the goalscorer, as was the case when Marcus Rashford struck a last-minute winner against West Ham in January.
“When a manager leaves out a 37-year-old, there should not be any noise.
“No single player can ever be bigger than the club. And no-one knew that better than Sir Alex Ferguson who, in 2006, sold one of the Premier League most prolific goalscorers, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, because he felt the striker’s personal hunger for goals was inhibiting the progress of younger, emerging team-mates.
“Who reaped the rewards? Ronaldo, who thrived after Van Nistelrooy’s exit.
“Just like Van Nistelrooy 16 years ago, Ronaldo’s goal sprees have the capacity to make anyone deemed critical look foolish.
“It does not alter the fact that the next United manager will face the same issues as Rangnick in trying to keep him happy.”
German manager Ralf Rangnick has been constantly battling with hardships in United’s dressing room since taking over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.
— David McDonnell (@DiscoMirror) February 17, 2022
Recently, Manchester United’s Harry Maguire has dismissed reports of a “power struggle” with Cristiano Ronaldo. The England defender is reportedly undermined by the Portuguese player’s influence, with his continued role as captain questioned.
Also, BILD journalist Christian Falk has now claimed Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire have been left ’annoyed’ by the 37-year-old’s behaviour.