Comments made by Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand last summer have resurfaced – with one prediction in particular related to Cristiano Ronaldo now proven to be incorrect.
Ronaldo was linked with an exit from Old Trafford last summer, with the Portuguese forward reportedly telling United chiefs that he wanted to leave after the club failed to qualify for the Champions League.
But that didn’t happen, and after Ronaldo missed a large portion of pre-season due to personal reasons, new boss Erik ten Hag reintegrated him into the first team squad.
But the beginning of this campaign didn’t go how the 38-year-old would have liked, as he scored just three goals in 17 games prior to the World Cup.
During the tournament, Ronaldo left United by mutual agreement following an explosive interview with Piers Morgan.
What did Ferdinand say about Man Utd and Ronaldo?
Speaking on his YouTube show, Vibe with FIVE, at the beginning of August, Ferdinand claimed that United would ‘never’ let Ronaldo ‘right now’ – which did prove to be correct, as the Portugal legend did stay beyond the transfer window.
But he questioned how Ten Hag would replace Ronaldo’s tally of 24 goals last season through another player, if he was to leave Old Trafford.
With Marcus Rashford taking his seasonal goal tally to 24 with a brace against Leicester on Sunday, that question has now been emphatically answered.
Ferdinand said: “Manchester United are never letting him [Ronaldo] go right now. Where are they going to find 24 goals? If he starts, you have got a better chance of getting better performance.
“I would start Ronaldo up front, Rashford on the left, [Jadon] Sancho on the right.”
The former centre-back also bemoaned that United needed another midfielder, and was proved right on that front as United would go on to complete a deal for Real Madrid star Casemiro. The Brazilian has been a key player for Ten Hag since he moved to Old Trafford.
But Rashford has proven that Ronaldo’s goals from 2021/22 can be replaced – and he will look to surpass the Portuguese striker’s tally on Thursday when United take on Barcelona in the second leg of their Europa League play-off tie.