Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has given his verdict on Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford.
Last summer, Manchester United returned to Manchester United in a €15 million deal from Juventus. The Portuguese superstar was all set to join Manchester United’s cross-town rivals Manchester City. But the Red Devils hijacked the deal at the last moment to complete a sensational return to the club for Ronaldo.
However, things have not quite gone as per plan. While Ronaldo is Manchester United’s top scorer this season with 18 strikes across all competitions, the jury is out on his work rate and overall contribution to the team’s build-up play.
Wayne Rooney has addressed the issue and highlighted that while his former teammate has gone about his job of scoring goals, but stressed that United ‘need more’. While on Sky Sports, the Manchester United legend responded to a question about whether Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford has been successful, saying, “You’d have to say no, at the minute.”
“He’s scored important goals early on in the season in the Champions League and he’s scored the hat-trick against Tottenham but I think if you’re looking towards the future of the club, you have to go with younger, hungry players to lift United over the next two or three years.”
🗣 "He's a goal threat but the rest of the game they need more, they need young hungry players."
Wayne Rooney doesn't feel that signing Cristiano Ronaldo has worked out for Manchester United pic.twitter.com/fElNwiYEh1
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 4, 2022
“Cristiano is getting on a bit and he’s certainly not the player he was when he was in his 20s and that happens. He’s a goal threat but I think during the rest of the game, they need more.”
The 36-year-old also touched upon the current attacking options that Manchester United have. Interestingly, Rooney wants the Red Devils to keep hold of Jesse Lingard, whose contract expires this summer.
“They’ve got good young players and I think (Jadon) Sancho will be better next year. Marcus (Rashford) will be better next year and they’ve got good young players. I think Jesse Lingard should be playing for them as he brings energy and quality.”
“Scott McTominay has done well so they’ve got good young players. They just have to get them confident and believing they’re good players performing at a better level. I’m sure the new manager will bring his own players in to try to get them rebuilding.”
Rooney’s comments do ring true to some extent, and this is not the first time that doubts have been placed on Ronaldo, when it comes to his return to Manchester United. It remains to be seen if Ronaldo remains at Manchester United beyond the 2021/22 season, especially with the Red Devils looking less likely by the day to clinch a top-four finish.