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‘You’d have to say no’; honest Rooney assessment points to huge Man Utd summer mistake

Former striker Wayne Rooney feels Manchester United made an error in bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club last summer.

Ronaldo, 37, returned to Old Trafford on August 27, 12 years after leaving the Theatre of Dreams for Real Madrid. The Portugal captain scored 118 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils first time around. But he took his game to a new level at the Bernabeu.

The Madeira-born ace found the net 450 times from 438 outings for Real before leaving for Juventus in 2018. Ronaldo continued to be prolific in front of goal, with 101 for the Old Lady.

And the Manchester United fans felt they were in dreamland when it was announced he would be back at the north-west giants for 2021-2022. However, things have not gone to plan with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked earlier in the campaign after a poor run of results.

Ralf Rangnick is now in temporary charge but there has been little improvement in performances. United seem a disjointed outfit, with plenty of world-class stars but no structure.

And, asked if it has been a success to sign the icon for a second stint, Rooney pulled no punches.

“You’d have to say no,” he told Sky Sports. “He’s scored goals, he’s scored important goals in the Champions League early on and the hat-trick against Tottenham.

“But I think if you’re looking to the future of the club you have to go with younger hungry players to lift Manchester United in these next two or three years.”

And England’s record goalscorer feels Father Time is catching up with the superstar.

“Cristiano is not the player he was when he was in his 20s – and that happens,” he added. “He’s a goal threat, but the rest of the game – I think they need the young, hungry players.”

Rooney talks up forgotten Man Utd star

There is no question that United do have many stars in the ranks. But the problem has been moulding them into a side all singing from the same hymn sheet.

That has not been the case for most of the season. Rooney does not feel it is all doom and gloom, however.

He believes there is the nucleus of a decent squad and suggested that one man should have played a prominent role this term.

“They’ve got good…

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