Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United has been called into question following a rare drought in the Premier League.
Despite having scored in each of the Red Devils’ last three Champions League clashes, domestic goals have dried up for the Portugal icon.
After scoring two goals in his second United debut against Newcastle and again at West Ham, the 36-year-old has failed to find the net in five top-level appearances since.
It’s his longest barren run in any league since 2009 – and it came amid desperate form for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
They haven’t won the last four Premier League games with their latest result being a 5-0 humiliation against Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Many expected United to challenge the title after spending a lot to get Ronaldo back, alongside costly acquisitions of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.
But Sunderland legend and talkSPORT Manchester correspondent Micky Gray suggests Ronaldo only hampered the Red Devils.
“Solskjaer needs to pick an XI he can count on,” Gray told talkSPORT Breakfast.
“I’ll probably come full circle here, but I question Ronaldo’s return for Man United now.
“We’re talking about going in one direction over the last few seasons for Ole, which was to bring in fresh young players, with a lot of energy at the club.
“Look, he’s a fantastic goalscorer and he’s been an incredible player in his career.
“But if you’re going in a direction with a football club and you want to take them to that next level, I don’t think bringing in Cristiano was the right thing to do.”
He added: “When they played against Aston Villa Bruno Fernandes was on the edge of the 18-meter penalty area with no one around him. Last season he reportedly took that shot 100 out of 100 times.
“But he played the game to Ronaldo, because Ronaldo’s presence on the pitch makes you feel like you have to pass the ball to him.
“They have to forget this, they have to get back to the path of victory. If you look at City, Liverpool and Chelsea, their organization, their organization, they are setting traps for everyone.
“Man United didn’t do that.”
However, Gray insists that the blame for United’s run cannot be directly directed at CR7 and must be shared across United as a whole, especially in defense.
The Red Devils have conceded 12 goals in their last three games, making many botched mistakes.
He added: “Looking at Man United it’s like the defense playing for themselves, the attackers are asked to score goals and the midfielder is just asked to run and keep the ball.
“None of this is happening at the moment.
“Yes, they could score a few goals. But that comeback of four and the mistakes they made on the weekends, it was worse than a schoolboy. It was ridiculous.
“I like Fernandes, but when you make him run around and try to do things on his own it leaves gaps. When you play against a team like Liverpool they will see it, rub their hands together, thank you very much and play around you.
Then for Solskjaer’s men it’s Tottenham far away – live on talkSPORT this Saturday – as Solskjaer fights to save his job.