Former Manchester United Skipper Gary Neville believes the second coming of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United had a negative impact on Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, and Edinson Cavani.
Manchester United finished sixth in the Premier League and endured one of their worst performances in Premier League history. The Red Devils will miss out on Champions League football next season.
Despite Manchester United’s abysmal performance in the Premier League, Cristiano Ronaldo was arguably Manchester United’s best player of the season. The 37 years old scored 24 goals and provided 3 assists in 39 appearances for the Red Devils including 18 goals in the Premier League.
However, Gary Neville believes the arrival of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner affected Harry Maquire, Bruno Fernandes, and Edinson Cavani as these players were the leaders in the dressing room.
What was said?
Speaking on Sky Sports the Overlap he said: “I think he’s staying.
“I think at the start of the season, he created a problem straight away with Cavani.
“Cavani was being pleaded to stay and lead the attack for the year, but when they signed Ronaldo, Cavani was shot then and finished. It upset the dynamic in the dressing room for Bruno.
“I think Bruno looks up to him as a godfather in Portugal so it made him feel a bit inferior to what he was before. It made Maguire a little bit inferior as captain just naturally – nothing from Ronaldo’s doing this.
“Just his presence itself on the pitch means everyone’s looking to Cristiano with Harry trying to establish himself as United captain.
“I don’t know where the cliques are, I’m not close enough to it but you mention words like ‘rotten’ ‘broken.
“Harry Maguire has gone from someone who I think was growing on the pitch last year in Covid to someone who looks like he’s shot to pieces when he pulls on a redshirt.
“Bruno looks like half the player.
“The rest of them, the young players, it looks like you’ve lost complete faith in them, let’s get rid of them. That’s when something has gone fundamentally wrong in the changing room, in the leadership, and I don’t think you can absolve anyone of blame. Everyone has to take the blame for that.”
The Statistics of Bruno Fernandes and Cavani before the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Bruno Fernandes had an immediate impact at Manchester United when he arrived from Sporting Lisbon.
The Portuguese international scored 26 goals and provided 19 assists in his first 18 months at Manchester United and The 27 years old was ranked among the best midfielders in the Premier League.
This season, Bruno had failed to replicate his last season’s form and the attacking Midfielder looks a pale shadow of himself since the arrival of Ronaldo and has managed only 10 goals and 6 assists in 35 appearances in the Premier League this season.
Edinson Cavani on the other hand has also not been able to replicate his form before the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cavani in his first season scored 10 goals and provided 3 assists in 26 Premier League appearances but had managed only 2 goals in 15 appearances this season.