Cristiano Ronaldo is “nowhere near” his best and he will not win Manchester United the Premier League, according to Paul Merson.
It was announced on Friday that Ronaldo had agreed to return to Man United. He was linked with a move to Man City before his move to Old Trafford was made official.
The forward only had one year remaining on his deal at Juventus and United will pay around £19.5m to bring him back.
Merson was asked about the signing on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday. The pundit believes that Ronaldo will find it “hard” in the Premier League:
“I’m going to go as far as say nowhere near. I would say he’s at 50% [compared to how Ronaldo was at 26/27],” Merson said.
“His numbers, don’t get me wrong, are still phenomenal. With him being the top scorer again last season in Italy, everywhere he’s been he has done it.
“He’s 36 years of age. If he does it this season in the Premier League then you would have to stand up and say that he is near on not human.
He continued: “For every kid at Man United – Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho – I don’t know if it puts them back one notch with Ronaldo coming in.
“But this will be a player who you watch and go this is how I have to live my life for the next ten years, because it’s a short career, to be the best. He will set an example like that.
“Will he win the league for Man United? I’m going to say no. I think he’s going to play centre-forward which will make Edinson Cavani think why did I sign for another year.
“I think it’s going to be hard [for him]. I still sit here and think why not get Harry Kane. He is a three or four-year option.
“This [Ronaldo signing] is a big deal for one season. Only one in my opinion. He’s 37 in February. It doesn’t matter how well you keep yourself fit.
“I know it’s Ronaldo and he’s different. He was unplayable [for Man United the first time around] but I don’t see that being the case this season.”