Frank Lampard believes that Cristiano Ronaldo is virtually irreplaceable at Manchester United, and that the only player who could fill the void left by his departure, is Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo left Old Trafford this summer to join Real Madrid in a world-record deal and Lampard believes United will be unable to cope with his loss.
The England midfielder feels that it is only Barcelona Messi who emulate Ronaldo’s impact for United.
When asked about Ronaldo, he said: “You don’t replace him, apart from with Messi – he is probably the only player you could do it with.
“With Ronaldo, the amount of goals he scores, the amount of times you flicked on the telly and saw he had scored and they had won 1-0 or 2-0.
“It is very difficult to replace him. I saw Ferguson say that himself and I don’t think he will look to replace him. He will look to make the team as strong as a whole by not having him.
“That is the only thing they can do. That is probably one of our big plusses this year – we didn’t lose our big players.”
Lampard believes that the Premier League has become a more evenly matched division this year.
“The league is more competitive this year. It seems teams have found ways to be hard to beat,” he added.
“Look at Hull at our place the other day – they were big and powerful and they are looking at a different route of staying up.
“These kind of games have become tough and wherever you go you are in for a very tough game, probably more so than a few years back.”