Former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo for a second spell at Old Trafford ended up being the wrong decision.
The Portugal international was a legendary figure at United in the Sir Alex Ferguson era, but it’s fair to say his second stent at the club when he came back in the summer of 2021 did not go nearly as well.
Not all of that was down to Ronaldo, who put in some strong individual performances when he first joined, but it seems in hindsight like a bit of a short-sighted deal, which perhaps ended up destabilizing the rest of the squad.
Solskjaer seems to feel that, while the signing initially felt so right, it ended up going wrong, so it seems there is some sense of regret there.
Although Solskjaer did not specifically single out Ronaldo as a problem, he admitted that some egos and difficult personalities came out when results weren’t going well.
“It was a decision that was very difficult to turn down and I felt we had to take it, but it turned out wrong. It felt so right when he signed and the fans felt that at that Newcastle game, when Old Trafford was rocking (after Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-1 win). He was still one of the best goalscorers in the world, he was looking strong,” Solskjaer told The Athletic.
“When I looked at the fixtures it was going to be a deciding period: Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham, and Leicester away. Then Chelsea and Arsenal, plus Champions League games. Things went against us. It started with Aston Villa at home (a 1-0 defeat) and a late penalty miss.
“When you have a group you need everyone to pull in the same direction. When things didn’t go right, you could see certain players and egos came out. We beat TottenhamRead on caughtoffside.com