The ex-Red Devils winger says even a Portuguese superstar could not close the gap which is opening up between those at Old Trafford and their rivals
Manchester United would be off the pace even if they had a peak Cristiano Ronaldo on their books, says Lee Sharpe, with the Red Devils lacking the quality required to compete with the best.
When a Portuguese superstar was on the books at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson boasted a star-studded squad that was the envy of rivals around the world.
That is no longer the case, with a serious slump having left United playing catch-up at home and abroad.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been charged with the task of overseeing a rebuilding job, but he is considered to be working with a side that is a long way short of where it needs to be.
Former Red Devils winger Sharpe feels even five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo would not be the answer, telling MetaRatings: “I think [United] would still be off the pace, but they wouldn’t be that far off with someone scoring 25-30 goals a season.
“We saw that with Liverpool with [Luis] Suarez a few seasons ago, how much it changes things.
“If you’ve got a player that can run from the halfway line and score when you’re under the cosh.
“And someone that can score tap-ins, headers, volleys and from outside of the box, an array of goals that can come from one player, then you’re always in with a chance.
“The amount of chances you’ll create at a club like United, chances are that you’re going to score more than you’ll concede.
“If you’ve got a Ronaldo or a [Lionel] Messi, even a Harry Kane, then you’re never going to be too far off the pace.”
United were keen on bringing Ronaldo back to Old Trafford when it became clear that he wanted out of Real Madrid in 2018.
He ended up heading to Serie A champions Juventus instead, with Sharpe conceding that the Red Devils remain short of world-class talent.
Quizzed on whether those qualities can be found in the United ranks and what could be done to address the faults, the ex-England international said: “I think [Paul] Pogba can on his day and we’ve seen that a bit, but that’s probably because the team that he’s playing in isn’t as strong as the teams that [Wayne] Rooney and Ronaldo played in, so it hasn’t allowed it to happen.
“I do think that they need one or two more of them. It’s a shame they couldn’t bring Ronaldo back, instead of him going to Juventus, could they bring Gareth Bale over?
“How many players round the world actually do that week in week out? There are a very limited number of them, and when you’re not in the Champions League, how do you pull them in to the club?”
United’s struggles for consistency, which have seen them collect just nine points from seven Premier League games this season, continued on Thursday as they were held to a goalless draw away at AZ in the Europa League.
Click Here: NRL league Jerseys