Jamie Carragher and Roy Keane have debated whether Manchester United were right to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club.
The 36-year-old returned to the Red Devils last summer. This followed his spells at Real Madrid and Juventus.
Arsenal, Spurs & United pay price of Premier League’s imbalance
Ronaldo has been criticised at times this season but he has been one of United’s star performers. He scored a hat-trick on Saturday as Man Utd beat Norwich 3-2.
This takes his tally for the season to 15 in the Premier League and 21 across all competitions.
The Red Devils have had a poor campaign this time around. They currently sit three points outside of the top four and they have exited every cup competition.
Man City were reportedly keen to sign Ronaldo last summer. Due to this, Carragher believes he was a “panic” buy from United’s perspective:
“Manchester United should be buying someone who is 27 not 37 – who’s the next Ronaldo?,” Carragher told LADBible.
“It just smacked of where the club was. I always felt it was never going to push them closer to the Premier League title.
“If you watch Ronaldo and if you are judging all of United’s outfield players, he’s still been one of the best, if not the best. For Ronaldo to still play at one of the best clubs in the world at 37 and still have an impact – it’s unbelievable. But for United to buy Ronaldo, I just thought it was a joke.
“It was either a panic because they thought [Manchester] City and whether they were kidded by that or this thing about getting Ronaldo back and everyone’s excited, the social media – I thought it was a bit embarrassing.”
Keane disagreed though, as he believes that Ronaldo was “worth the gamble”:
“I still think it was worth the gamble. At the bigger picture, you’re looking it’s not a great signing because of his age and listen, whatever. But I still think he can bring something to the party, and I think he has.
“But I think whatever’s gone on around him hasn’t been good enough. I still think Ronaldo could also probably still show better leadership skills. I know he’s been upset once or twice when he was left out. He clearly wasn’t gonna play in all the games. But he’s still showing moments, Jamie. He’s still showing moments.
“Obviously, listen, the Tottenham game [where he scored a hat-trick]. Some of the European games. But I think it was worth the gamble.”
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