Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United in November under a cloud, and a former teammate says that Ronaldo’s experience was sorely missed in Sunday’s loss to Liverpool.
Louis Saha says that Manchester United would not have let Liverpool score seven goals if Cristiano Ronaldo had still been on the team.
The former United striker said Ronaldo would not have let the team give up so easily. Ronaldo left Old Trafford in November after criticizing Erik ten Hag in an explosive TV interview. Ronaldo’s contract was canceled by both sides, and he joined Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr. He couldn’t go back on what he said about Ten Hag and United in the interview, so he had no choice but to leave.
Even though United had only lost once in 22 games since Roaldo left, Saha said that Sunday’s thrashing at Anfield might not have been so bad if the 38-year-old striker had still been leading the attack.
“When Ronaldo left, it was a clean slate for United,” said Saha. “It gave Ten Hag a clean slate to work with, which has helped him give the club a winning attitude. Now that the team’s attitude has changed for the better, I think Cristiano would help them do even better up front.
“It’s hard to say for sure, but when United loses 7-0 to Liverpool, I can’t help but think that Cristiano could have helped.”
Saha played with Ronaldo for four years at United. He said that the team has gotten better since he left, but that the former Real Madrid star should get credit for helping get his old team back on the right track.
“With all respect to Cristiano’s legacy and his record at United – which more or less speaks for itself – you cannot ignore the dramatic change in United’s form since Ronaldo left,” Saha told Compare.bet. “But at the same time, Erik ten Hag had to deal with a very tough situation when he got to United, and it just didn’t go well.
“But I don’t think this is because of Cristiano, but because of the other players’ mindsets. With the right communication, the right level of respect, maybe a compromise could have been found.
“But he still helped United get back on track by influencing the players around him. He gave players more confidence and let them say what they wanted, which has been a big part of United’s improvement this season.
United will be looking for a quick response to how poorly they played against Liverpool when they take on Real Betis in the first leg of their last-16 match in the Europa League. This match will take place at United’s stadium in Manchester. Betis, who are currently fifth in La Liga, played Real Madrid, who are currently first in the league, to a scoreless draw over the weekend. United will likely have a difficult time prevailing against them.
Casemiro and Raphael Varane are both former Real Madrid players, so United is understandably concerned about them. It is believed that both were injured in the thrashing that took place in Liverpool.
Victor Lindelof, who was sidelined with a minor injury and did not play against Liverpool, may be able to return to action, whereas Anthony Martial is not anticipated to make a comeback. Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek will also be out. Both Christian Eriksen and Donny van de Beek are expected to miss the rest of the season due to their respective injuries. Christian Eriksen is expected to miss at least the month of April.