Former Manchester United star claims Cristiano Ronaldo return led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacking

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United played a part in the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager.

That’s according to former United defender Paul Parker, who believes that it hasn’t worked out for Ronaldo back at Old Trafford just yet.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner made a sensational return to United 12-years on from his departure in the summer, as the club ended his Juventus torment in a £13.5million move.

However, the transfer clearly wasn’t a part of United’s transfer strategy, after already spending £73million on Jadon Sancho, and was done in reaction to the possibility that he could join neighbors Manchester City.

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While Ronaldo’s form in the Champions League was crucial to their advancement to the knock-out stages, his performances have dipped in the Premier League and he isn’t scoring at the rate we have been so used to seeing over the last decade.

United have also struggled throughout the season, which led to Solskjaer’s sacking in November and things haven’t got much better under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

Parker believes that Ronaldo’s arrival was never going to suddenly turn United into title challengers.

“It hasn’t worked out Ronaldo’s way but what was he looking for?” he told

“There’s no guarantee that he was going to come back to Man Utd and because he’s come back, they’re going to walk away with the league and it was all going to be about him, everyone just saying that Ronaldo’s won them the league.

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“That wasn’t going to happen. United weren’t in that shape to go and do that. So surely he must’ve known that when he signed that it wasn’t gonna happen. Common sense surely would have told him that one player isn’t going to change the team. One player, who’s 36 years old, isn’t gonna change that much.

“It doesn’t work that way, football. He’s gone back to a club that he loves, a club that loves him and it hasn’t worked out. Management changes and one of the reasons why the management changed so quickly from when he arrived, is because I have arrived.”

Parker even suggested that United would have been better off this season without Ronaldo, even though Edinson Cavani was repeatedly unavailable due to injuries and a late return from Copa America at the start of the campaign.

“He doesn’t arrive,” he added. “United start the season they way they kind of finished it with Cavani – how he made such a difference, the players liked him because of his unselfish runs, his workrate, the way he was around the box, the goals he scored.

“It all changed. Football changed at Man Utd when Ole Gunnar Solskjær left. Not that he was hundred per cent but there was something that had been built from the backend of the previous season.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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