Paul Merson believes Cristino Ronaldo’s presence at Manchester United this season “hasn’t helped anybody” and claims they have no chance of winning the league next season if remains up front.
Ronaldo missed the Manchester derby to spread another wave of rumours questioning his future at Old Trafford, before returning to the starting lineup to score a hat-trick in the 3-2 win over Tottenham.
Merson has urged the Red Devils to get rid of the Portuguese superstar in the summer and said the new boss must be “majorly strong”, claiming both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick have been too “weak”.
He told Sky Sports: “I always thought the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t great. He gets a hat-trick on Saturday and everybody’s going mad, but put the ball in the box and Ronaldo will score goals. It’s simple.
“The header didn’t shock me one iota. He’s the best header of the ball in the world. He hangs in the air, but you’ve got to put the ball in the box.
“He’s not going to do two footovers, beat two players and then smash the ball in the top corner – those days are gone. But put the ball in the box and the man is the best finisher there’s ever been. You can’t score that many goals if you’re not a good finisher.
“Do I think he’ll still be there next season? No, absolutely not. I’d be shocked if he was still there. I don’t think the manager who’s coming in is going to be as soft. I don’t think it’s going to work with him. If you want to win the Premier League, that isn’t happening.
“I thought Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was weak, I think Ralf Rangnick is weak with the way it’s happened. Someone who’s coming in has got to be majorly strong. You’re not going to win the league with a 37-year-old up front in my opinion.
“The worrying thing for Man Utd is he’s their best player and top scorer. You can’t say he hasn’t been a success – he’s the top scorer at Man Utd, the biggest club in the world, and he’s 37. But you’ve got to put it in perspective – Man Utd are there to win trophies, not just make numbers up and try to get fourth.
“He’s probably done his job but him doing his job hasn’t helped anybody else. It might sound silly because he’s done well, but that means no one else has done well.”
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