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Cristiano Ronaldo heroics can’t hide Man Utd transfer problem after Paul Pogba boos


Manchester United landed an important victory after beating Norwich at Old Trafford on Saturday where Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick downed the Canaries, while Paul Pogba was booed off

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Norwich to keep United's top-four hopes alive
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Norwich to keep United’s top-four hopes alive

Cristiano Ronaldo was the difference-maker for Manchester United when they most needed him after his hat-trick in their 3-2 win over Norwich on Saturday.

But while the snarling crowd at Old Trafford will only hold the 37-year-old closer to their hearts, the same cannot be said for Paul Pogba, whose Red Devils career is ticking down. The Frenchman was booed off while chants of “f*** off Pogba” smattered around the stadium as well, while a more general “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” was directed at a number of players.

If Pogba was uncertain on his plans this summer, this might have just made up his mind with the midfielder now appearing to have completely lost the love of the United faithful. The 28-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season while speculation over his future has swirled for the past six years.

With United facing yet another rebuild this summer and a number of players set to follow Pogba out of the Old Trafford exit doors, the club may well have a problem in convincing new signings considering the treatment the Frenchman has endured. Supporters expect the world of him and, when put in a difficult situation as the sole defensive midfielder against Norwich, he was met with brutal abuse after a perfectly reasonable performance.

His return to Old Trafford in 2016 was heralded as a marquee moment for United, the club asserting itself as a powerhouse in Europe by signing a world-class player at the peak of his powers. But in truth, that has simply failed to transpire as the Red Devils have turgidly declined year after year. It would be impossible for any big-name target not to be at least the slightest bit wary of a move to Old Trafford when considering the path Pogba’s career has taken.

This might be his lowest point, though, and Ralf Rangnick was less than pleased with the fans that booed Pogba. He said: “I didn’t hear it myself but I was informed after the game. I can fully understand the fans are frustrated, so are we, but I don’t think they should take on individual players. I don’t think that is right or correct.”

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Paul Pogba was booed by his own fans against Norwich
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PA)

One player returning to United will forever have the love of the supporters, though, in Ronaldo – who continues to perform in a United team that is one of the worse in living memory. His incredible hat-trick has reinvigorated their top-four hunt after Arsenal and Tottenham both lost.

Despite United’s best attempts to self-implode, Ronaldo stepped up to rope them out of trouble as if to say he is determined not to play anywhere but the Champions League next season. There is talk that the Portuguese superstar is actually holding United back but the simple matter is he is their top goalscorer by a country mile with 21 in all competitions. The next highest is Bruno Fernandes with nine.

The Portuguese icon has often been blamed for United’s poor performance, but the fact remains that he still has the ability to turn a game on its head and create something from nothing – despite being 37 years of age. Old Trafford will be his stage as long as he wants it to be, despite reports that Erik Ten Hag has already decided to show him the door once he takes over from Rangnick.







Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Norwich to keep United’s top-four hopes alive
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Image:

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Without Ronaldo, the interim head coach would have been trying to justify why his side lost to the bottom team in the Premier League and Old Trafford – where fans protested against the Glazers before kick-off – would have been a toxic cauldron of hostility. And it might have been that poisonous atmosphere that saw Pogba scapegoated after a reasonably decent performance.

Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are all chasing the France international’s signature, whose agent Mino Raiola is perhaps even more unpopular at the club. But while it would be too far to say that those booing represent the entire fanbase, it certainly sounded like the death knell of Pogba’s United career.

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