It would be unfair to pin the blame for Manchester United’s recent poor form on one individual.
Ralf Rangnick’s side are leaking goals at the back, they’ve got no control in the center of the field and they’re struggling to convert their chances. It’s not exactly a glowing report, is it?
No team goes through a bad patch of form without its fanbase looking to find a scapegoat and United supporters have found plenty in recent weeks.
Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford have all come in for criticism, though Cristiano Ronaldo has perhaps received more than most.
The 37-year-old has been lambasted for his performances in a run of six games without a goal, his longest goal drought for well over a decade.
Ronaldo has still scored some vital goals for United this season and remains the club’s top goalscorer, but the dream transfer is swiftly becoming a nightmare.
You can tell that he’s running low on confidence and that’s even more concerning than his lack of goals. This is a man who’s built on the stuff. He believes in his ability and knows he can do just about anything on a football pitch.
Pundits and ex-players often note that it’s when strikers aren’t getting chances that you should be most concerned and that’s certainly not the case with Ronaldo.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has had plenty of opportunities to break his sweep spell over the last few games, yet his wayward finishing is cause for concern.
Rangnick has even admitted that United’s need for a new striker is an “obvious” one and when asked about Ronaldo’s form after the draw with Southampton, he said: “He would have wished to have scored, I would have wished him to score, the whole team would have.
“He had good chances – one of the biggest chances in the game when he went past the goalkeeper but it was cleared.”
Although Ronaldo is struggling to lead the United line he still deserves some praise. His six goals from him in the Champions League single-handedly fired United through to the knockout stages and having him in the squad could be vital for the development of the club’s youngsters
There’s also no doubt that United’s poor form is having an impact on Ronaldo’s game. The chances he gets aren’t always gilt-edged and he’s found himself shooting from awkward angles in a desperate bid to find the back of the net.
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But it’s obvious that he needs some help. At 37, he cannot be relied upon as the main man anymore. United need to realize this and so does Ronaldo.
A young and hungry striker is absolutely needed in the summer transfer window if United are to compete with the best sides in the Premier League.
With Edinson Cavani potentially on his way out in the summer and Ronaldo struggling for form, United may need to add a striker to their growing list of positions in desperate need of reinforcements.
Do United need another striker to support Ronaldo? Follow our United On My Mind writer omar garrick on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.