Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has responded to claims that Cristiano Ronaldo is proving to be detrimental to his team due to his lack of ball leakage.
As Ronaldo saved Solskjaer’s side last week, especially in the Champions League which earned him a pair of goals against Villareal and Atalanta, the review of his performance has become more intense.
The main question being, Would United need Ronaldo’s late heroism if he was in the squad in the first place?
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Portuguese striker pressing was noticeably more frequent and intense in Wednesday’s victory against Atalanta, days after a poor performance at Leicester.
At 36, there is no doubt that it would be incredibly difficult, even for a fit Ronaldo, to maintain that throughout the campaign. The question therefore remains to know if the attacker hinders this united team?
However, Solskjaer has supported his leader to keep him going and claims he is still in the process of strengthening his fitness.
Talk to Sky Sports, the Norwegian said: “When Cristiano came to us he didn’t have a good pre-season at Juventus and you can see he’s getting more and more fit.
“Now he feels: I’m getting to the level that I know I can be.”
“Wednesday night, the concentration, the physical effort, the running… he had the most sprints, the longest sprint distance, the longest distance at high intensity.
“We are talking about players who run a lot, he does as much as they do. If people want to criticize his work ethic, that is completely wrong. You see him running in the canals, which he has to do as a center forward.
“He’s doing the job we want him to do for the team. Of course, the team, when you have a player like him you have to get the best out of him, but he knows he’s part of that team’s puzzle and he’s been brilliant.
Solskjaer and Ronaldo face Liverpool on Sunday as Jurgen Klopp’s top-flight Reds travel to Old Trafford in an attempt to extend their lead over their rivals.
In form, Salah will be looking to continue his incredible streak of goals and Solskjaer understands United will have to be determined to stop them.
“They will definitely give us problems. But we have to find solutions, we have to be compact, but it is in the key moments.
“Some of the goals Salah has scored lately have been sheer genius. In moments, the great players present themselves.