Journalist Andy Mitten says Cristiano Ronaldo has made Manchester United “regress” and that he was not purchased by the club for footballing reasons.
Speaking on the Talk of the Devils podcast today, Mitten said:
“Individually he’s been very good but collectively Manchester United have regressed as a team.
“I’ll always remember speaking to someone at the club on the day he signed. That person basically said ‘we had no idea of this’ and that was a person on the football side.
“So he was completely thrown in and I think Ed Woodward drove it. He was the one who made the numbers stack up, sold the idea to Joel Glazers.
“Man United had to rip up the way they planned to play last season.
“I think it’s always about Ronaldo.”
Discussing the Portuguese legend’s reported desire to leave the club, fellow Athletic reporter Laurie Whitwell also had some interesting insights on the matter.
“Is it because he’s got an offer on the table … from Chelsea?
“Is it because … he couldn’t stand not being in [the Champions League)?
“Is it because his salary has been cut now, 25% is the general cut for players when United aren’t in the Champions League, and we’ve had it confirmed now that Ronaldo does have a salary cut in his contract.
“Or is it he’s just been waiting to this very moment to have maximum impact?”
With Carl Anka also joining in the conversation, the trio seemed to be in agreement that it might not be a disaster for United if Ronaldo was to move on, with parallels to Wayne Rooney‘s attempted departure in 2010 being drawn.
Whitwell and Anka both also felt that fans would not complain much about the superstar’s departure, even if it was to Chelsea.
They also agreed that new manager Erik ten Hag would not be helped if Ronaldo was held at United against his wishes, creating an extremely difficult situation and potential challenge to the new manager’s authority.
The fact that Ronaldo has not yet spoken to Ten Hag was also roundly criticised on the podcast.
“Is Ronaldo worth it? … I don’t think he is”, Anka stated.
“A lot of people on the football side at United would be relieved if Cristiano Ronaldo left the club,” Mitten concluded.
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