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Man Utd news: Dean Ashton calls out three players for letting Cristiano Ronaldo down | Football | Sport

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Dean Ashton has called out Manchester United trio Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford while shielding Cristiano Ronaldo from criticism. The Portugal international has gone six games without a goal, his longest drought since the 2008/2009 campaign. Yet Ashton has insisted the 37-year-old can’t do it all by himself.

With 14 goals across all competitions this season, Ronaldo has been a shining light amid a difficult campaign for United.

However, the Portugal international’s form has started to wane with the 37-year-old struggling to summon the magic of old.

Ronaldo has netted just twice under Ralf Rangnick so far, having previously struck 12 times during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time in charge.

Yet Ashton, speaking on talkSPORT, has now defended the veteran while calling out Rashford, Dalot and Shaw for what he believes is a lack of service.

“It’s not his fault for a start,” the former Norwich, West Ham and Crewe striker said.

“He’s getting angry because the service is that bad.

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“When you buy Ronaldo, you don’t buy the player that he was ten years ago, you buy the player that he is now.

“You watch Juve, he didn’t take three or four players on then smash it in. He didn’t score goals from outside the area.

“His game was inside the area. Great movement, sharp movement, delivery, goal. Sight of the goal, back of the net.

“Manchester United are playing every other way except what’s needed for him and to get the best out of him.

“Why have the best goalscorer in the history of football and not give him the service he needs?

“Rashford, why does he persist on trying to knuckleball every cross? He just knuckleballs it to the first player.

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“Why are Dalot and Shaw crossing from really deep, when it gives Ronaldo less opportunity to get on the end of it and beat a defender?

“This is a guy with an unbelievable leap and he’s not scored a Premier League header. What? They’re not giving him the service.”

There have been claims that Ronaldo’s relationship with Rangnick is now ‘fractured’ behind the scenes.

United’s No 7 was apparently left angry when his interim boss admitted he should be ‘scoring more’ before their 1-1 draw with Southampton.

Yet while Ronaldo is far from happy with life at Old Trafford, he’s not looking to leave just yet.

Links to Paris Saint-Germain have arisen in recent times, especially given the uncertainty over Kylian Mbappe’s future.

However, Ronaldo is happy living in England and has no plans currently to leave the Theatre of Dreams in the summer.

At the end of the season, United are primed to commence another new era with a new manager to be appointed as Rangnick’s successor.

Mauricio Pochettino is one leading candidate to take over, with the PSG boss ready to return to the Premier League this summer.

Erik ten Hag is another, with reports suggesting he’ll leave Ajax in the wake of Marc Overmars’ departure.

And United have also been mooted to have an interest in Roberto Mancini, Luis Enrique and Julen Lopetegui as well.

Meanwhile, talkSPORT’s Alex Crook thinks Ronaldo is a shadow of the player he used to be.

“He is a microcosm of Manchester United and what they’ve become. He was a powerhouse, he isn’t anymore,” he said.

“Yes, he’ll still score tap-ins. He’s come up with some big moments in the Champions League but, in the Premier League, he doesn’t have the legs.

“He can’t do it. He can’t beat a man so, unless you’re going to put the ball on his head six yards out, Ronaldo is a passenger.

“I got carried away when he signed, as a lot of United fans did, but it’s caused more problems than it solves. He has to go in the summer.

“That’s why I’m talking about wholesale clearances in the summer.” 





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