Former Manchester United teammate Mikael Silvestre has backed Cristiano Ronaldo.
Following a terrible start to 2022, Ronaldo has been chastised for his recent efforts. The 37-year-old has only scored once for United in ten games since the turn of the year.
Despite this, United’s leading scorer this season is the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has 15 goals in all competitions, including nine in the Premier League. His total puts him six points clear of his closest rival, Bruno Fernandes.
However, questions have been raised about Ronaldo’s position in the team and his future at the club. Suggestions have been made that he won’t fit into Ralf Rangnick’s modern style, with the interim United manager thought to be losing patience.
With United finishing second last season, Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford was considered as a potential trigger for a title challenge. However, with United battling to even enter the top four, questions have been raised about whether he should have been brought back.
Silvestre, a former United defender who appeared in over 350 games during his stint at Old Trafford, has responded to the abuse levelled at his old teammate.
“It’s natural [that he receives criticism] since the name he carries carries a lot of expectation, so it’s natural that he’ll get some stick,” Silvestre told bettingexpert.com. “This season’s statistics favour him, especially given the team’s current form.
“Even with the run of games where he hasn’t scored, it’s been a positive addition,” says the manager. He’s not God… he’s Ronaldo!”
Silvestre acknowledges that United will need to sign a new centre-forward this summer, especially with Edinson Cavani expected to leave at the conclusion of the season. Rangnick has already identified it as a desirable position for the forthcoming transfer window.
“This is self-evident.” Edinson’s contract expires in the summer, and the team is in desperate need of a new centre-forward. This is a no-brainer. “I believe everyone understands,” Silvestre continued.
“I don’t think United needs a number nine; all we need is someone who can score,” the former defender remarked. “When I say number nine, I don’t mean a normal target man number nine; we haven’t had one in a long time, since Wayne [Rooney] left.”