Cristiano Ronaldo scored 24 goals in his comeback year at Manchester United (Photo: Getty)

Paul Merson has claimed that while Cristiano Ronaldo had a great season on an individual level, he also contributed to Manchester United’s downfall.

Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford after 12 years last summer and many believed that the Portuguese superstar would help fire United back to glory after many seasons of disappointment.

The forward scored 24 goals in 38 games in all competitions and even at 37 years of age he shows no sign of slowing down.

However, while Ronaldo shined United suffered, with the Red Devils finishing sixth in the table, recording their worst points tally in Premier League history and extending their trophy-less run to five years.

‘Cristiano Ronaldo is probably the only player at Manchester United who hasn’t been a disappointment this season,’ Merson told Sportsskeeda.

‘His individual numbers add up and he has been their most consistent player over the past year.

‘While Ronaldo did score his goals, I don’t think he helped the team much. The new manager’s got a hard job coming up.

Man Utd recorded their worst Premier League points tally ever last season (Photo: Getty)

‘If you keep Ronaldo for another year, that’s another year without much of a plan. If he does well next year and Manchester United come third, it’s a waste – because he’ll leave after that.

‘Manchester United need a plan for the future, and they need to start addressing it sooner rather than later.’

Many will view Merson’s analysis as odd given how Ronaldo was often United’s saviour over the past season, although some have noted how the team were forced to alter their style of play from a counter-attacking system to a more progressive one following the Portuguese’s arrival.

This transition did not end well and was one of the main reasons why manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lost his job during the campaign.

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United’s main problem was however the poor form of many individual players, something that Merson highlighted when asked who he thought was the club’s worst player in 2021/22.

He said: ‘Picking only one player from the rest of the United squad is a horrible task. Most of them were a joke this season.

‘David De Gea was the only other player close to Ronaldo’s level at Manchester United. He’s an excellent shot-stopper – if I’m a manager, that’s the first thing I want in a goalkeeper. I thought he was back to his best.

‘Apart from the occasional showing of consistency from Scott McTominay and Fred, none of the other players deserved more than a five out of ten for the season.’

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