“He’s no longer at the same standard” – Arsenal legend suggests Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has declined as a player

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has stated that Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer performing at a level deserving of the UEFA Champions League.

Ronaldo, 37, has been the talk of the town since before the start of the ongoing 2022-23 season. After expressing his desire to leave the Red Devils in July, he failed to secure a permanent move to a UEFA Champions League-qualified club this summer.

Along with his agent Jorge Mendes, the Portuguese striker tried to engineer a transfer away from Old Trafford but was rebuffed by the likes of Chelsea and Atletico Madrid (via Mirror). During the final days of the summer window, he was said to be on the radar of Napoli (via 90min) but a move never materialized.

Erik ten Hag on Cristiano Ronaldo set to stay at Man Utd: “From the start we said we planned with Cristiano, it was clear. We are on the same page with him”. 🚨🔴 #MUFC“We are happy with him, he’s happy to be here and we want to make the season a success together”. https://t.co/gKGoyaEZ1t

Speaking to Le Parisien (via Sport Witness), Petit gave his opinion on the transfer saga involving the former Real Madrid man. He said:

“It’s going to be strange, but it’s somewhat logical. He has never missed this competition. That’s why he tried to force his exit from Manchester United, but it also corresponds to the player he’s becoming. He’s no longer at the same standard.”

He added:

“At 37 years of age, that he doesn’t play in the Champions League doesn’t shock me. If he was still a crazy threat for opponents, he wouldn’t have had any difficult in finding a new club. His age was a considerable hurdle, as well as his wages.”

Under new Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag, Ronaldo has started just one Premier League match so far this season. He has been demoted to the bench, with Marcus Rashford leading the line for the Red Devils.

After arriving from Juventus for an initial £13 million last summer, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner scored 24 goals in 38 matches for the Red Devils. He is yet to open his account in six games this season.

Manchester United will host Real Sociedad in their UEFA Europa League Group E opener on Thursday (September 8).

Garth Crooks comments on Cristiano Ronaldo’s role at Manchester United

In his ‘Team of the Week’ column for BBC, former Tottenham Hotspur striker Garth Crooks pointed out that Rashford is currently ahead of the Portuguese in the pecking order at Old Trafford. He wrote:

“It would appear that Rashford has won the battle with Cristiano Ronaldo to start games for Manchester United. Erik ten Hag has made the right decision, of course.”

He added:

“Rashford is part of United’s future and Ronaldo, sadly, is part of United’s past. It comes to all great players, of course.”


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