Former Manchester United legend and Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane has warned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer he “must be careful” with how he uses Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 36-year-old returned to Old Trafford on a two-year deal worth €23m including add-ons from Serie A side Juventus, having last played for the club in 2009.
The five-time Ballon D’or winner has won over 30 major trophies during his career so far including five Champions League titles, four World Cups and a European Championship for his native Portugal.
The striker has featured in three games so far this season, most recently against West Ham at the London stadium – a game in which he scored in the 35th minute.
But club legend Keane told Sky Sports that he still has some reservations over Man Utd’s Ronaldo strategy and claims they should be careful to preserve the star talent.
“You look during midweek, he struggled up front without getting decent support or possession,” He stated.
“Man United have to be careful because Ronaldo’s come to the club everyone thinks it’s just going to fall into place, the players still need to step up and do better than what they had in the one or two years but he’s still a world class player.”
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The Red Devils suffered a shock Champions League defeat on Tuesday against Swiss outfit BSC Young Boys – a game in which Ronaldo scored, but the game was lost 2-1 after American striker Theoson Siebatcheu scored a last-minute winner.
Keane advised that Man Utd should be tactical with their formations and how Ronaldo slots into the fold and claimed that the Portuguese international isn’t as energetic as he was once and Solskjaer should be conscious of this.
“He hasn’t got the energy or the desire to be up in the box by himself but when you bring a top-class player in anything in the box, he’s the best in the world,” he said. “He was on fire there was no surprise he produced last week.
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“We’ve seen the best of him against Newcastle when you are creating chances getting balls in the box and we’ve seen the problem that would cause United when they were up against it when they went down to 10 men.”
Ronaldo scored two goals on his first outing for the club since 2009, against Newcastle United. He also continued his strong Premier League form on Sunday by scoring the opening goal against West Ham.
Man Utd will be facing West Ham this Wednesday in the EFL Cup.