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Cristiano Ronaldo had a 'very negative effect' on two Manchester United stars

Cristiano Ronaldo had a 'very negative effect' on two Manchester United stars

Liverpool legend John Barnes believes two Manchester United stars went "backwards" during Cristiano Ronaldo's time at Old Trafford.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s second spell at Manchester United had a “very negative effect” on two of his former teammates at Old Trafford, according to John Barnes.

Ronaldo made an immediate impact on his blockbuster return to United in 2021, with the Portuguese forward scoring an impressive 24 times in 38 appearances.

However, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s spell took a turn for the worse after former United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was axed from the club.

Ronaldo was deemed surplus to Erik ten Hag’s requirements at United and was struggling to secure regular first-team minutes at Old Trafford this season.

The 37-year-old Portugal captain’s contract with United was later terminated after his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV.

Barnes believes not everyone benefited from Ronaldo’s presence at Old Trafford, with the Liverpool legend pointing specifically to Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.

Rashford faced mounting criticism over his form in the 2021-22 season, but the England international has returned to his best form in the current campaign.

The United star impressed at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and has also been in fine goalscoring form for his club, with Rashford scoring 15 times in 25 appearances.

Rashford, who is out of contract with United in 2024, has found the back of the net for United seven times in his last six appearances.

Marcus Rashford has been in stunning form for Manchester United this season.
Alamy

Sancho, meanwhile, has struggled to replicate his sensational Borussia Dortmund form at United since his blockbuster £73m transfer in 2021.

The 22-year-old United winger failed to make the England squad for the World Cup and has been missing in action for Erik ten Hag’s men since last October.

Speaking to BonusCodeBets, Barnes said: “Rashford will be a fantastic player for Manchester United.

“He needs to focus on playing in those wide positions and coming inside to affect the game. He’s not a centre-forward. That’s not his game.

“I’m pleased for him because he went through a sticky patch last year, which was because of the disharmony at United.

“You have Sancho who is still yet to come back also. I would like to see Sancho given an opportunity to revive his career.

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“I think Ronaldo had a very negative effect on the players whilst he was there. Just his presence.

“A lot of the players went backwards because of him and the influence he had. I’m glad Rashford and Sancho will now be given an opportunity to show what they can do.

“When you go to a club and don’t start well, it’s tough. Especially at £80m. Sancho has a lot of potential so, hopefully, he can be reintroduced to the team soon. Hopefully, the fans will give him their support because he has a lot of potential.

“The difference with Rashford is played well for a couple of years at the club. He’s a local boy, so even when he had a bit of a dip he had that support from the fans. He had the luxury of the fans giving him a chance.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, Premier League, England, Football, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford

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