Jamie Carragher claims Manchester United’s stars are already paying the price for Cristiano Ronaldo ’s homecoming.
In a sensational end to the transfer window, United brought the Portuguese star back to Old Trafford, where he played between 2003-2009.
However, Liverpool legend Carragher believes United’s stars were already suffering from the superstar’s return.
Despite Ronaldo’s emphatic start to life back in Manchester, with three goals in two games, Carragher insists he has hampered the Red Devils’ other attackers.
Writing for the Daily Telegraph , he argued that the likes of Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Edison Cavani could all feel the blunt end of the transfer as they are shunted to new positions and suffer from less playing time to accommodate Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo has got off to a good start on his United homecoming.
Carragher said the most immediate impact is on £73million man Sancho, who will now struggle for playing time, competing with an in-form Greenwood for the right-wing.
Carragher said: “The most immediate impact is on Sancho, who is now fighting with Greenwood for his favoured position on the right.
“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.”
The youngster has struggled to adapt to playing in the Premier League and has not yet replicated his form from the Bundesliga and Carragher said that he will further struggle as his game time is reduced.
Carragher wrote that Sancho is not the only one feeling the effects of being caught in Ronaldo’s orbit.
Pogba thrilled at the Euros for France and impressed further by bringing his form back to the Premier League with seven assists in four league games.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemed to finally find the perfect position for the Frenchman, coming in off the left. But with Ronaldo’s return, Carragher said Pogba has been pushed back to a deeper midfield role where “we saw the same flaws that have typified his United career”.
Carragher also pointed out the problem of fitting Marcus Rashford into the team when he returns from injury.
Finally, the player-turned-pundit said Cavani, who signed a one-year extension last season, also seemingly could not fit into this side.
Despite the goals and star power, Carragher isn’t optimistic about the longer term impact of Ronaldo.
He was also critical of United’s lack of cohesive approach, starting with manager Solskjaer, calling them an “ensemble of brilliant individuals” instead of being the “collective force” they’d need to be to win the league.