Cristiano Ronaldo has been one of Manchester United’s best players since his return from Juventus in the summer – although if the club are to progress from their current tumultuous period, the Portugal star must go according to ex-Liverpool star Danny Murphy.
Ronaldo has scored 12 Premier League goals in 24 games for the Red Devils as they sit fifth in the Premier League. His return was heralded as one of the best signings of the summer window due to United’s lack of a world-class out and out striker, especially at the ground where he announced himself on the world stage.
However, the move has been one of just the few highlights of United’s season, with another trophyless campaign set to reach a disappointing climax in just two months’ time. And Rangnick’s men are still a way off Champions league qualification, with Arsenal being afforded the chance to go seven points ahead if they win their game in hand against rivals Tottenham.
It is obvious that something at United needs to change if they are to progress as a club. And Murphy believes getting rid of Ronaldo would be a good start in terms of the Portugal hero being on a ‘big contract’.
“Something radical needs to change at Manchester United even if it means important players like Cristiano Ronaldo being sold,” Murphy started. “You have to be careful dealing with superstars on big contracts, it’s better to find other takers before you fall out with them. But the bigger picture is that United have gone five years without a trophy and need to back a top manager who is there for the long haul, whether it be Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino or someone else.
“Those guys will want to do things their own way and a clear-out makes sense, headed by Paul Pogba and Ronaldo. They rely on Ronaldo’s individual brilliance, which can work in some games, like Tottenham last Saturday, but doesn’t against the best teams in the Premier League and Champions League.”
The Red Devils sit 20 and 19 points behind Manchester City and Liverpool respectively, an eye-opening indictment of their current status as a club. And Murphy believes that whilst Ronaldo has the quality required, it is the fitness of the star compared to City and Liverpool players that is the key difference.