Roy Keane urges Man United players to make up for star attacker’s shortcomings in this area

Manchester United legend Roy Keane believes how other players need to cover up the defensive burden of Cristiano Ronaldo

Speaking to Sky Sports (h/t The Express), Manchester United legend Roy Keane has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo and believes other players need to ‘shoulder’ his defensive burden.

The Portuguese international has been a revelation of a signing, and at 36, he is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. 

There were doubts regarding whether the striker could adjust again to the pace and the physicality of the Premier League, which have now been put to bed. Ronaldo has already bagged 7 goals in 9 starts for United, and his strike against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday was one of sheer class and poise. 

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 7 goals in 9 starts for Manchester United since arriving on deadline day of the summer transfer window.  (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 7 goals in 9 starts for Manchester United since arriving on deadline day of the summer transfer window. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

The centre-forward’s former compatriot Roy Keane has now demanded that the other players in the team should cover up for the former Juventus forward’s defensive burden due to his clinical nature in the attacking phase of the game. Keane told Sky Sports (h/t The Express):

“I think Ronaldo is a brilliant player, really sharp and you’ll get one or two years from him, and that’s why he’s in the team… Obviously, they have Cavani next to him to share the load, but Ronaldo was never going to be closing people down – that was never his strength.

“They say the modern teams need to have 11 players sprinting, well you don’t. You can have one or two geniuses on your team and go, ‘Listen, you do the business’…Ronaldo is a genius. If you have him at your club, it can only be a plus.”

Roy Keane believes other Manchester United players need to cover up for the defensive burden on Cristiano Ronaldo, thereby allowing him to contribute more in the attacking phase of the game. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Roy Keane believes other Manchester United players need to cover up for the defensive burden on Cristiano Ronaldo, thereby allowing him to contribute more in the attacking phase of the game. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

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The Portuguese international only has positives written all over him, and it is rarely a negative to have the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner on your side. 

Moreover, out of his seven goals this season, 3 goals have already proved to be winners and if his defensive duties are cut-off, his attacking output could considerably increase over the course of the season. However, given the nature of the league, it remains to be seen whether United can pick up victories without all 11 men defending when out of possession.