Manchester United 1-0 Aston Villa: Rangnick reaction
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Liverpool and England legend John Barnes believes Manchester United ace Cristiano Ronaldo has hampered the development of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood. The former Real Madrid and Juventus ace has been United’s main man, since he sealed a sensational return to the club in the summer transfer window.
Ronaldo has come to United’s rescue on numerous occasions, contributing eight goals and three assists in 11 Premier League appearances, and hammering home six goals in five Champions League appearances.
Even though the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has almost carried United singlehandedly at times, Ralf Rangnick’s side are still languishing in seventh position.
But while the Portuguese ace’s has been outstanding at times this season, his attacking colleagues have struggled to make an impact of their own.
And Barnes claims Ronaldo’s presence has not helped the likes of Rashford and Greenwood, who have both struggled to maintain a place in the first-team this season.
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“The amount of minutes Cristiano Ronaldo has played this season has surprised me but that shows that they need him because they haven’t been performing consistently,” Barnes said to BonusCodeBets.
“That has worked against Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood because it means that they’re not playing regularly.
“With Bruno Fernandes as well, it means they won’t all play but it’s swings and roundabouts.
“If they spend £80 million on Jadon Sancho, he should be playing every week.
“Rashford and Greenwood have been there long enough to decide whether they want to be big-time players. That’s also a decision for Manchester United to make.
“But Ronaldo’s signing has worked against the younger players.”
After an electric start to the season which saw him score three goals in his first three league matches, Greenwood has only found the net once in his last 12 Premier League appearances.
Greenwood began the season at centre-forward for United, but he was moved out to the right-hand side to accommodate for Ronaldo.
Meanwhile, Rashford has endured his own struggles this season, scoring two goal and contributing one assist in 12 domestic appearances.
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But despite his last goal coming at the end of October, Barnes has tipped the England international to re-discover his form and become a huge player for the Red Devils.
“Marcus Rashford is the future of Manchester United,” Barnes added.
“Marcus Rashford is the future of Manchester United, along with Greenwood and Jadon Sancho. Rashford should play every week if he’s fit.
“The focus has been [Bruno] Fernandes, [Paul] Pogba and Ronaldo and the team selection has reflected that, even when he’s been fit.
“He’s suffered a bit in confidence but having so much focus on Pogba, Ronaldo and Fernandes has detracted from the younger players which has really worked against them.”
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