The Red Devils have seen their trophy drought extend to five years and their underperforming squad has finished outside of the top four, meaning the club will miss out on Champions League football. Standout performers have been few and far between in recent months but Ronaldo has continued to score at a steady rate even at the ripe old age of 37.
The Portuguese striker took his tally to 24 goals for the season by converting a penalty in Monday’s Premier League victory over Brentford. De Gea, meanwhile, has been kept busy in the United goalmouth due to the team’s defensive weakness and has largely impressed.
Souness believes the star duo are the only two players who can hold their heads high when the campaign draws to a close with a trip to Crystal Palace later in May. “You’d like to think you’ll get honesty from the players,” the Liverpool legend told Sky Sports.
“You’ll like to think the players are playing for their futures at that club because there must be question marks over so many of them. So many have underperformed, we know they’re better. But it’s okay us saying that, but they have to go out and do it.
“Near enough to a man, Ronaldo’s chipped in with goals and the goalkeeper [De Gea], maybe. Other than that, you’re struggling to find anyone that you would say are anything like a Man United player.”
Which Manchester United players have made the grade this season? Have your say in the comments!
Although Souness picked out Ronaldo and De Gea for praise ahead of the match, neither had a good game as United were routed 4-0 by Brighton on Saturday evening. The disastrous result vindicated the pundit’s comments ahead of kick-off when he highlighted the “monumental” challenge Erik ten Hag will inherit when he succeeds Ralf Rangnick in the hot seat this summer.
“I have to say Man United, arguably the biggest football club in the world, have got a monumental task from making the jump to where they are now to challenging with [Manchester] City and Liverpool,” Souness added.
“I’m not sure where [Ten Hag] would start. There are so many areas that he would have to strengthen. If everyone gives 100 per cent in every game then they might be able to creep up. I don’t think they have enough quality.”