Manchester United supporters feel Cristiano Ronaldo should leave the club this summer, but his future has divided opinion.
Ronaldo’s return to United last summer, 12 years after leaving for Real Madrid, has been far from the spectacular comeback he may have envisioned. The Portuguese went on to win every possible trophy in the Spanish city on many occasions, and they hoped to bring more silverware back to Old Trafford.
“I believe it is the best move I have ever made, “Upon joining United from Juventus, he told the club’s official website. “In my perspective, it is spot on. I’ve moved from Juventus to Manchester, and it’s a new chapter for me. I’m really delighted and grateful, and I want to keep going, to try to help Manchester achieve big achievements, to win trophies, and to win amazing things.”
That hasn’t turned out to be the case in the least. A season that began with great expectations after the signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, and only grew higher after the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, has failed on every level.
There was anticipation that United would end their trophy drought, but they haven’t even come close to winning anything, and qualifying for next season’s Champions League would be a miracle. There have been humiliating outcomes for clubs at the bottom of the standings, as well as big, demoralizing defeats to fierce rivals. Ralf Rangnick, the interim manager, has done no better than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The football has been dull, the players have been underwhelming, and the year has been a complete disaster.
As a result, questions have been raised over whether Ronaldo will still be with the club when the next season begins. While the decision may be out of United’s hands if he decides to go owing to a lack of Champions League play, even if he does wish to stay, the club must weigh whether it is worth keeping him.
Ronaldo, too, has had a hand in this dreadful year. Though it might be argued that United would be worse off without him because he is the team’s leading scorer with 18 goals, more than twice as many as the next highest scorer, his arrival clearly influenced how Solskjaer set up his team.
While the Norwegian tactician’s tactics weren’t perfect, he had built his team up to be dangerous on the counter and attack with their quick, sharp attackers. The management was unable to adjust after Ronaldo’s forced introduction disrupted that style of play, which had produced positive results the previous season. He’ll lose his job as a result of this.
Ronaldo’s talent is undeniable, but the gaps between his magical moments are widening. Only four of his 18 strikeouts have come after the turn of the year, and three of them came in a single game. The number of goals is dwindling.
Furthermore, at 37, Ronaldo is no longer as mobile or enthusiastic as he once was, and he was scarcely a well-known presser during his heyday. When he’s up front, United effectively plays with ten men when they don’t have the ball because he doesn’t contribute anything in terms of shutting down opponents or gaining the ball back.
However, there are other compelling reasons for the team to maintain Ronaldo. He is still one of the top players in the world, capable of accomplishing feats that no other member of the team can. United already has a dearth of offensive alternatives, and Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial are expected to leave in the summer. A new striker is currently required, and another will be required if Ronaldo leaves. That would be too expensive.
Furthermore, Ronaldo hasn’t exactly performed for great managers in his first season back in Manchester, so perhaps the new coach the club hires this summer will be able to get the best out of him once more?
It’s a difficult decision with many advantages and disadvantages in each direction, as seen by the close vote on the issue. “Should Manchester United look to move Cristiano Ronaldo on in the summer or keep him at Old Trafford?” MEN Sport questioned United fans.
Ronaldo was the slim winner with 56% of the 6,273 votes, with the remaining 44% feeling he should be kept. In just a few weeks, the club will have to make a difficult decision.