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Jamie Carragher Warns Cristiano Ronaldo's Return Will Impact FOUR Manchester United Stars

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Jamie Carragher Warns Cristiano Ronaldo's Return Will Impact FOUR Manchester United Stars

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has warned that Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational return to Manchester United will have a negative impact on four of his teammates.

Ronaldo made a late summer exit from Juventus and completed a return to Old Trafford for his second spell with United.

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The 36-year-old Portuguese superstar scored a brace on his second United debut against Newcastle in a 4-1 win at Old Trafford.

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Ronaldo continued to add to his goalscoring tally with his opener against Young Boys in United’s Champions League opener on Tuesday.

However, the former Juventus forward watched on as Young Boys stunned 10-men United with a stunning 2-1 win at the Wankdorf in Switzerland.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Carragher has now suggested that United are not any closer to challenge for the Premier League title or Champions League trophy, despite the arrival of Ronaldo.

Speaking in his column for The Daily Telegraph, he said: “The broader question for United is whether Ronaldo’s arrival gets them any nearer to being a team that can win the title and Champions League again.

“On the evidence of the first few games, albeit they have won three of their first five matches, I would say no. What his arrival alone cannot do is turn United into a title-winning unit or impose the distinctive way of playing they still lack.

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“United still look like an ensemble of brilliant individuals in need of being moulded into a collective force. United’s Champions League defeat on Tuesday struck me as a classic example of a coach in a position where he could overthink his selection so ended up making changes in an attempt to keep everyone happy. This might become a recurring problem and is partially a knock-on effect from the Ronaldo deal.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

“When fit, he will start as the centre-forward. That means others will have their positions regularly shifted. Coaches like to say that they welcome selection headaches. If you become too concerned about getting players game time, it can have an unsettling impact on the balance of the side and consistency of performances.”

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to play Ronaldo as a centre forward against Newcastle and Young Boys.

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Carragher believes that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner’s role could have a knock-on effect for the likes of Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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And the Sky Sports pundit believes that Sancho is already feeling the negative impact due to fighting for his preferred position against Mason Greenwood.

“The most immediate impact is on Sancho, who is now fighting with Greenwood for his favoured position on the right,” Carragher said.

“He played on the left wing in his first two United appearances, switching flanks in midweek prior to being subbed early when the team was reduced to 10 men.

“There are also consequences for Pogba. After his encouraging start, he was back in centre-midfield against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle and for the last hour in midweek, when we saw the same flaws that have typified his United career.

“Where will Marcus Rashford fit into the equation upon his return from injury? And then there is Edinson Cavani, who Solskjaer was talking up in his latest press conference. It sounds like the manager does not want any of his stars to feel like they are back-ups.”

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Jamie Carragher, Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, Premier League, England, Football, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho

Adnan Riaz
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