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Highlights on Off The Ball


Manchester United's younger players are letting Cristiano Ronaldo down - Keith Treacy

Keith Treacy believes that Cristiano Ronaldo is still a special player who is being let down by his Manchester United teammates.

Former professional footballer Keith Treacy joined Off The Ball to discuss Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a controversial figure in many ways. He has always been a controversial figure, for reasons off the field and on it.

But Ronaldo has always been a valued player. Even those who argued against him as the best player in the world would have desperately wanted him in their team at his peak. Ronaldo scores goals, creates opportunities and shows up in big moments. That's no longer who Ronaldo is.

The conversation has changed so that Ronaldo is now not necessarily a net positive in the team. He no longer works off the ball and no longer possesses the speed to threaten on the counter attack. It's hard to fit him into an effective team. He shouldn't be a full-time starter, but he remains one at Manchester United.

Keith Treacy still believes that Ronaldo is one of the best players in the world so he thinks Manchester United are letting him down.

"They knew that when they bought Ronaldo he wasn't going to be running the channels," Treacy said.

"He's there to score goals. He's there to put the ball in the back of the net. And I think that at 37, he's one of the best players in the world. He can have a serious argument that he is the best player in the world or that he was the best player in the world."

If Manchester United knew what they were signing in Ronaldo, you imagine they wouldn't have made him a regular starter. Top teams can't carry a player when they don't have the ball. The days of a playmaker or striker not carrying his share of the workload are gone. But even if they weren't, Ronaldo isn't offering enough to offset his lack of work.

He's a lesser version of Fillipo Inzaghi at this stage, which is still impressive considering his age.

Despite this, Treacy believes that it's the responsibility of those playing with Ronaldo to cover for him and carry his workload when Manchester United don't have the ball.

"The likes of McTominay, Bruno Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford, if I was Rangnick I'd be having a word with them. You've got one of the best players in the world in front of you. You need to pick up a bit of the slack because he's 37. We need to make allowances to have him in this team and the allowances are going to fall onto you lads.

"You are younger, you're going to have to do a bit of donkey work for him. When it works out and Ronaldo ends up with 25 goals at the end of the season, and Sancho has done a bit of running and got so many assists, and Rashford the same, it will all click that way.

"But for me Ronaldo doesn't do the donkey work and that filters down to the likes of Sancho.

"If you're going to play Ronaldo, you need to let the other boys know he's a special player. He can come off the boil but not the rest of ye. Ye aren't in the same bracket, you need to work 10 out of 10 every week. He puts the ball in the back of the net, that's what he's here for."

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Cristiano Ronaldo Jadon Sancho Manchester United Marcus Rashford Ralf Rangnick Scott Mctominay