Graeme Souness has suggested that Manchester United’s latest signing Cristiano Ronaldo would struggle coming up against Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
The former Juventus star has reportedly reached an agreement to sign for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils outfit for a fee of £12.8m, according to BBC Sport.
“Every successful team has players where everyone is working to get the ball back,” the former midfielder told talkSPORT (via the Mirror).
“The top teams don’t have any passengers and if you’re taking Ronaldo at this time, he ain’t going to give you the hard yards.
“I have got a doubt about it. Juventus took him to win the Champions League, but he’s not going to be the difference in the big games.
“He’ll score goals, he will, because he’s got a brain and he’s been so athletic throughout his career.
“But in the bigger games against the better centre-halves… imagine putting him against Virgil van Dijk.”
Commenting on the matter in his pre-match presser, Jurgen Klopp suggested that it was a short-term move, labelling the signing one “for now and immediately”.
🗣️"It's not a business for the future… It's for now and immediately."
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) August 27, 2021
Credit where credit’s due, Ronaldo has kept himself in remarkable shape – playing football at the highest level at the age of 36 certainly evidences that.
Though a switch from a slower league like that of Serie A to the quick-paced Premier League may reap less rewards for United than some fans currently imagine.
It would be foolish to entirely write off the Portuguese international, though we’d certainly agree with Souness’ suggestion that Van Dijk would have more than enough about him to handle the threat posed by the former Real Madrid man.