Paul Merson has claimed that Manchester United would be better off without talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.
Speaking on Soccer Saturday, the panel assessed United’s 2-0 defeat to neighbours Manchester City – a fourth defeat in six for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co, and their second humbling home loss on the bounce.
City were the better side throughout, taking the lead early on through an Eric Bailly own goal before Bernardo Silva effectively ended the contest before the half-time interval.
Although Ronaldo has struggled as of late, the Portuguese star remains the club’s top scorer this season with nine goals – five clear of compatriot Bruno Fernandes.
Paul Merson, however, thinks United could be better off without Ronaldo.
He said: “I personally think Man Utd are a better football team without Cristiano Ronaldo.
“They had a good unbeaten run last year by playing a certain way – counter-attacking football. You don’t get that with Ronaldo. That’s gone now. They don’t have that pace anymore.
“What’s the point in having a 20-goal a season striker if you don’t win anything? It’s like Harry Kane at Spurs. Having a striker scoring that many goals doesn’t guarantee you a top-four spot.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Friday stated that he cannot understand those who see a downside to Ronaldo’s return to the club.
“He’s one of the best players that’s ever walked on this planet,” Solskjaer said. “And his impact so far on and off the pitch has been absolutely immense.
“The goals he scores, the way he conducts himself in and around the place. How people can see that as a negative… I can’t see that one.
“We’re really, really pleased he’s started off as he has. He scores goals, works for his team, and is a top, top professional.”
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