‘He choked the life out of players like Rashford’: Richard Keys believes Manchester United striker’s red-hot form is down to Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure – with ‘twisted egocentric superstar’ proving ‘pain around the team’
- Richard Keys hails Marcus Rashford the ‘deadliest’ striker in Europe now
- He also admitted he was criticized for pointing out Rashford’s struggles last year
- Kees believes best thing Ten Haag did for Rashford was to ‘get rid’ of Ronaldo
Richard Keys has claimed the secret behind Marcus Rashford’s red-hot form lies in the departure of “self-centred superstar” Cristiano Ronaldo.
Since Ronaldo’s explosive exit from Old Trafford, Rashford has scored 16 goals in his last 17 games. Keys believes Ronaldo “suffocated the life out of players like Rashford”.
The 25-year-old has now scored ten Premier League goals in as many games, including a brace against Leicester on Sunday which took his tally for the season to a career-best 24.
Ronaldo’s former team-mate, who now plays for Saudi club Al-Nasr, left United by mutual consent in November after a stormy end to his tenure at Old Trafford, in which he criticized the club, manager and players heavily . interview with Piers Morgan.
Now, writing on his personal blog, Keys has claimed that Ronaldo’s departure has proved influential in Rashford’s success.
Richard Keys has claimed the secret behind Marcus Rashford’s red-hot form lies in the departure of “self-centered superstar” Cristiano Ronaldo.
Rashford has been in impressive form for United since Ronaldo left, scoring 16 goals in 17 games
“If Ten Hag did anything to help Rashford, it was to get rid of Ronaldo,” he said.
“Surely the conversation about the stroppy egocentric superstar is over? Yes – he got goals after re-signing for United, but they were rarely meaningful goals.
“It was a pain around the club and it was choking the life out of players like Rashford.”
Keys went on to back his point by stating that Rashford has only scored eight goals in 19 games with Ronaldo starting, while he has burst into life since his departure.
I’ve always said that the PL needs a strong United. They are mixing. And that’s good news,” he added.
Keys admitted on his blog that he was criticized by colleagues for previously highlighting Rashford’s struggles last season.
“It was this blog that first highlighted his struggles on the field about 18 months ago. I got quite a stick for that too,” he added.
Keys claimed that Ronaldo “suffocated the life out of players like Rashford” during his second spell at United.
“Even a colleague, whose opinions I value, said to me, ‘Shame on you for the way you went after Rashford.’
“I understood what he was saying but I hadn’t ‘chased Rashford’. I just pointed out that his numbers and goals had fallen off the cliff.’
Keys hailed Rashford as the most “lethal” and “consistent” striker in Europe, who is “blowing United into this title race”.
Rashford’s United are three points clear of second-placed Manchester City, while trailing league leaders Arsenal on points, although the Gunners have a game in hand.