Former Man Utd captain Roy Keane believes that the homecoming of Cristiano Ronaldo was not a mistake, but admits that the veteran attacker can do more for the team.
On LADbible TV’s Agree to Disagree, Keane revealed that he believes Ronaldo has brought - and can continue to bring - quality to Old Trafford, however was critical of his lack of leadership and evidently frustrated body language at times.
He also went on to say that the transfer was partially a commercial one, one which adds value to the Man Utd brand.
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What has Keane said?
When asked if the Red Devils made a mistake re-signing Ronaldo, Keane said: “I think it was worth the gamble. In the bigger picture it’s not a great signing because of his age, but I still think he can bring something to the party - and I think he has. But what’s gone on around him, hasn’t been good enough.
“But I still think Ronaldo could probably show better leadership skills. I know he’s been upset once or twice when he was left out, he clearly wasn’t going to play all the games, but he’s still showing moments - the Tottenham game, some of the European games.
“If you remember the Brentford game, where he was taken off - and there’s no problem with a player being upset - but the game went on for 10-15 minutes and he’s still upset. I think Ronaldo’s not been great on that side of it, but I think it goes back to frustration, it goes back to United.
“I know that [Louis] van Gaal recently said that Man Utd is a commercial club, and the signing was a part of that, it was a part of the branding, the share price.”
The bigger picture
Despite Man Utd’s poor season, Ronaldo has demonstrated that at 37 years old that he is still one of the finest strikers in football, and his statistics highlight that.
In all competitions this season, Ronaldo has scored 21 goals and assisted three, with six Premier league fixtures still to play.
Just as he has done so many times in the past, Ronaldo was especially impressive in the Champions League, scoring six of United’s 11 goals in the group stages.
All of which suggest the five-time Ballon d’Or winner can still have a big part to play in the next manager’s rebuild at the club for at least another season.
Nonetheless, given Marcus Rashford’s poor form this season, Anthony Martial’s complex and unhappy situation, as well as Edinson Cavani’s imminent departure, the club will be on the hunt for a long-term solution at the head of their attack as they usher in a new era.
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