Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Manchester United messed up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans for this season, according to a former Premier League star.
The Red Devils had secured the signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane before bringing in Ronaldo after he surprisingly became available in the final week of the transfer window.
However, former Arsenal striker Paul Merson has now claimed that the Ronaldo signing has disrupted the way the Norwegian wanted to play and affected Bruno Fernandes' form.
"I feel sorry for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer," Merson told Sky Sports.
"He had a plan at the start of the season, having finished second last season. He's chased Jadon Sancho for a long time, got him in, and he's given Edinson Cavani another year.
"You could see his plan: you play Cavani every other game, you have Sancho on one side, Marcus Rashford on the other, you have Mason Greenwood coming in and swapping around, you have pace, power, energy, youth, skill, the lot.
"Then, just before the season starts, he gets given Ronaldo. I think he's thrown it all out of the window. From day one, they're not a better team with Ronaldo in it.
"You don't go 29 games unbeaten away without playing a certain way, and bringing Sancho in gave them another weapon to play that way.
"With Ronaldo up there, you don't have that weapon to play on the counter-attack any more. And Bruno Fernandes was their best player last season – he's hardly had a touch this season!
"It's all snowballed for Solskjaer. He had a plan, and the Ronaldo situation threw it all out of the window, just before the season started.
"They only went for him because they heard Man City were after him. It's not like United were calling Juventus to ask if he's available because Ronaldo is the missing link for United winning the Premier League. He isn't!"
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