Following Manchester United’s 7-0 loss to Liverpool, ex-United striker Louis Saha has questioned whether the presence of Ronaldo would have prevented such a heavy defeat and if the club would be in a better position now if he was still there.
Ronaldo, 38, left Manchester to join Saudi Professional League club Al Nassr, but Saha suggested that they would have fared better with the Portuguese international in the starting XI against Liverpool.
Saha said: “Ronaldo’s departure marked a fresh start for United, and it gave ten Hag a blank page to draw upon, which has allowed him to establish a winning mentality at the club. Now that the club’s mindset has improved, I think they’d be doing even better if they had Cristiano up top. Of course, it’s hard to know for sure, but when I see United losing 7-0 to Liverpool, I can only think that Cristiano could have helped.”
🚨 Erik ten Hag has revealed he did not lose a moment of sleep over the decision to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United for the second time.
(Source: press conference) pic.twitter.com/KTSiQQYW7X
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) March 5, 2023
Saha acknowledged that the club’s fortunes have turned around since Ronaldo’s departure, but claims that the former Real Madrid striker is partly responsible for the “resurrection” the club has experienced.
He said: “With all respect to Cristiano’s legacy, and his record at United – which more or less speaks for itself – you cannot ignore the dramatic change in United’s form since Ronaldo left. But at the same time, it was a very difficult situation for Erik ten Hag to deal with upon arrival at Manchester United, and it just didn’t go well. But I don’t think this is because of Cristiano, but because of the other players’ mindsets.
“With the right communication, the right level of respect, maybe a compromise could have been found, but he’s still contributed to Man United’s resurrection by the effect he had on players around him. He boosted confidence, and gave players the freedom to express themselves, which has been a big factor in United’s improvement this season.“