Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo should be dropped from the starting XI, claims Paul Merson – who believes something is ‘not right’ at the club.
Ronaldo was the Red Devils’ fairytale signing this summer as he made a stunning return to Old Trafford from Juventus for around £12million, and while the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has made his impact felt with 14 goals, he has attracted criticism over his attitude and work rate.
The 36-year-old scored in Manchester United’s last game – a 3-1 win over Burnley – but Sky Sports pundit Merson has still been left unimpressed by the former Real Madrid star, who stormed down the tunnel after the club’s 1-1 draw against Newcastle last week.
Manchester United should drop Cristiano Ronaldo from the team, according to Paul Merson
The pundit has not been impressed by the forward since his fairytale return to Old Trafford
Ronaldo has often been seen acting sulky following poor results, with fans and experts taking aim at his failure to lead by example – and Merson said he would like to see Edinson Cavani play up front instead.
‘In terms of [Manchester United]’s team, I strongly believe Cristiano Ronaldo should be left out,’ he told Sportskeeda, via the Sun.
‘It won’t happen, but Edinson Cavani should take his place upfront with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood in contention to play on the wings.
‘Something’s just not right there. I think there is a lot going on behind the scenes and it doesn’t look good for them.’
The Arsenal icon believes ‘something is not right’ at Old Traffor after a turbulent campaign
His comments come despite Ronaldo netting in the 3-1 win over Burnley last time out
Merson believes the Red Devils face a real battle to secure a top four spot and said they will be lucky to be playing in the Champions League next season after a stuttering campaign that has already seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked.
United are currently seventh, four points off Arsenal, who occupy the final Champions League spot.
‘You just don’t know what you’re going to get with Manchester United,’ he added. ‘They were so fortunate against Norwich City and were never going to beat Newcastle United away from home, so this will once again be a hard game for them.
‘I don’t see them finishing in the top four.
‘Manchester United are a long way off now and if they somehow manage to get to fourth, it’ll be a great season for them.’