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Merson defends Ronaldo amid man Utd criticism

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has backed Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo.

it was a disastrous season for United, who had to settle for a sixth place finish and Europa League football for next season.

Ole Gunnar Solskajer got off to a poor start, and Ralf Rangnick failed to fix things after coming in for the end of the season.

Almost every United player has come in for criticism this season, and that includes the returning Ronaldo.

The veteran finished as United’s top scorer, netting as many as 18, but he has still attracted criticism.

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Ronaldo has not looked like the force he once was, but he certainty has not been helped by poor performances from his teammates.

That’s something Sky Sports pundit Merson has addressed in his defence of the Portuguese superstar.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is probably the only player at Manchester United who hasn’t been a disappointment this season,” he said. “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.

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“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.

“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.”

De Gea won United’s Player of the Year award on Saturday, edging Ronaldo to the award.

The goalkeeper won back his number one spot this season and has done so in style.

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