Since Cristiano Ronaldo dropped the weekend bombshell of his desire to leave Manchester United, the football world has been debating just how the club will cope without him.
Miguel Delaney has unearthed a surprising stat that Ronaldo’s overall impact isn’t always as positive as it may seem.
In 2020-21, United scored 73 league goals. With Ronaldo, it dropped to 57.
In 2017-18, Juve scored 86.
With Ronaldo, it dropped to 70, 76 and 77https://t.co/xR33WXnLG0
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) July 5, 2022
This is no small drop-off in figures for both United and his previous club, Juventus.
It is also worth noting that United finished second the season before Ronaldo’s arrival, playing some of the most exciting football of the post-Ferguson era in the process.
There is no doubting Ronaldo’s finishing ability, the Portuguese superstar comfortably finished United’ top scorer last time out.
But nowadays Ronaldo demands a system to accommodate him, rather than the other way around.
With the new wave of high energy, pressing, physically demanding styles of pay being favoured by the top managers, Erik ten Hag included, at 37 can even Ronaldo slip into this system effectively.
However, what Ronaldo does bring, is standards.
Standards on and off the pitch; Hard work, lifestyle choices and an absolute obsessive desire to win. These are standards that have been glaring lacking at United in recent times.
Another issue United face, were Ronaldo to leave this summer, is the requirement to replace him.
Cristiano is the only recognised striker on United’s first team books at the moment.
Other positions have been prioritised this summer, with Ronaldo expected to stay. United’s tardiness in the market doesn’t fill fans with much joy a replacement could be found in time for pre-season.
But if Erik Ten Hag was guaranteed the funds to find a suitable replacement, it would surely suit his natural style of play and the club’s vision for team moving forward.