‘That’s his strike partner sorted!’: Man United fans joke PHIL JONES can play with Cristiano Ronaldo up front in response to a clip of the pair combining in training – after reports the isolated Portugal star spoke to Ralf Rangnick about needing support
- Cristiano Ronaldo was captured teeing up Phil Jones to score during training
- The clip drew a number of humorous replies from Manchester United fans
- Ronaldo ‘held talks with boss Ralf Rangnick about a strike partner’ last month
- Fans were quick to joke that Jones, a defender by trade, could be the answer
Centre back Phil Jones may be the answer to Manchester United’s problems in attack, joked fans online, after a clip emerged of his link-up play to score in training.
Ronaldo last month reportedly urged interim boss Ralf Rangnick to revert back to a system which provides him with a strike partner.
A lack of orthodox No 9 options has seen Rangnick persist with a 4-2-3-1 system but following a social media clip shared on Thursday, United fans were quick to jokingly propose the radical move to put Jones up top.
‘That’s Ronaldo’s strike partner sorted then,’ one fan wrote.
‘Can we play Jones at 9,’ another added.
A training ground clip showed Cristiano Ronaldo backheeling the ball towards a team-mate
That turned out to be defender Phil Jones, who ran on to the ball to slot it into the net to score
Manchester United fans were quick to joke that Jones could be Ronaldo’s next strike partner
Precise finishes, acrobatic saves and more… ������
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 3, 2022
The training ground clip shows Ronaldo backheel the ball into the area of a small-sided training game.
Jones, a centre back by trade, was free as he ran on to the ball to sidefoot into the back of the net.
‘So Phil Jones is the answer to getting the ball in the net. Who knew?’ United fan Chris Rose added.
Jones has endured an injury-plagued few years at Old Trafford and has only made two appearances for the club this season – a 1-0 home defeat by Wolves in the Premier League on January and their FA Cup fourth-round exit at home to Middlesbrough.
United’s attacking woes were on full display last time out in their 0-0 draw with relegation-threatened Watford at Old Trafford.
With the Manchester derby coming up this week, one fan joked Jones up top ‘will confuse’ City
Rangnick’s side had 22 shots and yet failed to find the net. It was a similar story away at Burnley last month when, again, 22 shots translated into a 1-1 draw.
A 1-1 draw against Southampton at Old Trafford reportedly saw Ronaldo’s frustrations take over.
Ronaldo was present at a meeting with Rangnick and fellow senior squad members to discuss the fractured team’s plight after drawing 1-1 at home to Southampton, according to the Athletic.
The 37-year-old star was reportedly the most vocal, and suggested a system change to end his goal drought, which did end the following game in a 2-0 win over Brighton.
On the agenda was said to be Ronaldo’s desire to play with a strike partner.
Ronaldo has linked-up most successfully with Edinson Cavani in a two-man attack so far
United first introduced a two-man attack in the 3-0 victory over Tottenham back in October.
Edinson Cavani started alongside Ronaldo, and both men scored to delay Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s inevitable sacking, which came after defeat at Watford later.
Rangnick picked Marcus Rashford to partner Ronaldo in a 4-2-2-2 system for his first match in charge, a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, and went with Cavani and Mason Greenwood in the same role until defeat against Wolves prompted a return to 4-2-3-1 in January.
Whether Phil Jones is really the answer following a straightforward finish in training remains to be seen but fans took the video in good humour.