Wayne Rooney says his former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo is in danger of becoming an “unwelcome distraction” at Old Trafford.
United’s all-time leading goalscorer, Rooney, says Ronaldo’s acts of petulance have been unacceptable this season and he would not have been allowed in their shared changing rooms.
Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute and proceeded through the tunnel before completing United’s 2–0 victory over Tottenham in October, prompting manager Erik ten Hag to sideline him for a game.
Former United captain Roy Keane has criticized Ten Hag for his handling of Ronaldo this season, but Rooney feels the onus is on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to ensure he is an asset to the club rather than a loser. obstacle.
Asked if Manchester United were better off with Ronaldo in the squad, Rooney said talkSPORT: “No, I don’t think so. He and Messi are arguably the two best players of all time and you can go either way with that, whichever way you decide.
“But I think the things he has done since the start of the season are not acceptable to Manchester United. I have seen Roy Keane defending him. Roy would not accept that. Roy would not accept that at all.” It’s a distraction Manchester United don’t need at the moment when they’re trying to rebuild.
“For Cristiano, just put your head down and work and be ready to play when the coach needs you. If he does, he will be an asset. If he doesn’t, he will become an unwanted distraction.”
Rooney: ‘Right Man’ Ten Hag restoring Man Utd identity
Rooney, who won five Premier League titles during his 13-year United career, was impressed with Ten Hag’s start to life at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman has won 65 per cent of his games since taking over and Rooney is confident he is the right man for the job, with evidence that the club’s identity is already restored.
“I think Ten Hag has done very well,” added Rooney. “He came in and stamped his authority on the team, and for the first time in two or three years I’m starting to see an identity with Manchester United that I haven’t seen in the last two or three years.
“He has shown his strength and his character with the way he treated Cristiano at times with the things he has been doing.
“He is the right man for the job. I think it will take time, but it is a real step in the right direction to finish in the top four and play in the Champions League again.”
“I’m very close to Darren Fletcher, so I know what he’s doing and how he’s doing his job. I know the players and staff are much happier than they have been in recent years.”