Gabriel Agbonlahor has suggested that a handful of Manchester United players are ‘scared’ of Cristiano Ronaldo in the wake of Monday’s lacklustre draw at Newcastle United.
The Red Devils were unable to claim all three points against the struggling Magpies, who took an early lead through Allan Saint-Maximin before Edinson Cavani’s second-half leveller ensured the spoils were shared at St James’ Park.
The result saw United miss another golden opportunity to make up some lost ground to the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea in the Premier League’s top four.
Ralf Rangnick’s side are currently sat in seventh place in the table and have already fallen 19 points adrift of leaders Manchester City since the beginning of the campaign.
They have been heavily reliant on Ronaldo to provide the goods at the top of the pitch following his return to Old Trafford from Juventus during the summer transfer window.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored 13 goals in all competitions for United this season and has saved the blushes of his team-mates on a number of recent occasions.
However, Agbonlahor has insisted that Ronaldo’s presence in the Red Devils dressing room is doing far more harm than good.
“It looks to me like Ronaldo just cares about his goals,” the former Aston Villa striker told Football Insider.
“That performance from Ronaldo [against Newcastle] was somebody sulking all game. He was throwing his hands up in the air because he wasn’t getting chances.
“Then after the game, he runs off the pitch sulking and I imagine he’s sulking in the changing room. His attitude was off.
“If I’m [Marcus] Rashford, [Mason] Greenwood and [Jadon] Sancho I’m scared to have a shot. Every time they have a shot he’s got his arms up to say: ‘Why haven’t you passed to me?’
“The harmony is not right in that changing room. The form of Rashford and Greenwood has dropped since Ronaldo has been there.
“They can’t express themselves. It’s like they think: ‘I have to pass to Ronaldo, I have to create a chance for Ronaldo’.
“Before Ronaldo came, Greenwood was taking players on and shots on and he’s not doing that anymore and getting dragged at half-time. If I was Rashford, Greenwood or Sancho I’d be saying to myself: ‘Oh, why did we have to bring him here?’
“He’s an amazing player who has had an amazing career but he’s not the same player he was. United played their best football of the season against Chelsea with Ronaldo on the bench.
Rashford, Greenwood and Sancho can play as a front three rotating positions and running in behind.
“If the manager had anything about him, he’d drop Ronaldo for the next game.”
Ronaldo is under contract at United until the end of next season after penning a two-year agreement upon returning to the club back in August.
He will be looking to help the Red Devils return to winning ways with a much-needed victory in their next outing against Burnley on Thursday evening.