Liverpool legend John Barnes has laid the bulk of the blame for Manchester United’s disappointing campaign this term at Cristiano Ronaldo’s feet.
In an exclusive podcast for William Hill (via the Mirror), the 58-year-old accused the Portugal international of causing disharmony in the squad.
“He (Ronaldo) detracts from other players. (Marcus) Rashford would have had a better season, (Bruno) Fernandes would have had a better season, (Jadon) Sancho would have had a better season. Whoever signed Ronaldo, it is their fault. ”
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United last summer and his return to Old Trafford was widely celebrated by fans of the club.
The 37-year-old had a productive season at an individual level, scoring 24 goals and providing three assists in 39 matches in all competitions.
However, it was a disastrous campaign on a collective note for the 13-time Premier League champions. They extended their trophy drought to five years, while also having their worst season in Premier League history.
Their return of 58 points is their worst tally since 1990. Additionally, the 57 goals they conceded are the most they have conceded in a single campaign in the Premier League era.
In recognition of how disappointing the season was, the players elected to cancel the yearly end-of-season awards.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo feature in Erik ten Hag’s plans for Manchester United?
United have announced Erik ten Hag’s appointment as the new permanent manager and former Ajax man will want to hit the ground running at Old Trafford.
The 52-year-old is the club’s fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson and he will be hoping to make more of an impact than his predecessors.
Ten Hag recently led Ajax to league glory in the Eredivisie and a similar level of success is expected from him at Manchester United.
One of the biggest talking points since the announcement of his appointment has been whether Cristiano Ronaldo will feature in his plans.
Ten Hag’s fluid style of play requires general teamwork and is not built around any individual player.
This could prove problematic when trying to fit Ronaldo in. However, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is a consummate professional and can adapt his game to do what is asked of him.