Giorgio Chiellini believes Cristiano Ronaldo should have left Juventus sooner than he did.
The veteran defender also told DAZN that the Portugal captain requires a team to be built around him.
Ronaldo left Juve for Manchester United on deadline day in the last transfer window, rejoining the Old Trafford club in a cut-price €23million deal.
The 36-year old has gone on to score six goals in eight games for United, including the winner in Wednesday night's Champions League thriller with Atalanta.
But Chiellini believes Ronaldo could have sorted his future earlier in the summer.
“I had already figured out he could leave this summer, because we reached a stage of the working relationship where Cristiano needed new motivation and a team that would play for him," the defender said.
"When he finds a team like that, he can always be decisive, as he was at Juve too.
"Juventus are beginning a process of renewal and trying to bring the average age down, so clearly he would’ve been an added bonus if he’d stayed, but it’s fair he wanted a team more focused on the present than the future.”
Chiellini's comments echo frequent criticism that's paralleled Ronaldo's United return, with several pundits questioning his overall benefit to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team.
Life after Ronaldo didn't start out too peachy for Juve, with the Bianconeri failing to register a win in their first three Serie A games.
Four wins in a row have since seen them climb to seventh in the table.
“Ronaldo left on August 28 and it certainly would’ve been better if he had gone earlier so we could prepare. Unfortunately, we paid a price for that,” Chiellini added.
“It does create a shock to the system and we lost points in the opening games because of that. If he’d left on August 1, then we would’ve had time to reorganise and be ready for the start of the season.”
Chiellini's comments come hot on the heels of similar sentiments from his defensive partner Leonardo Bonucci.
The latter claimed that Juventus were more of a united force following Ronaldo's departure.
"In the recent past we had lost this characteristic from Juve, we were playing with a great champion like Ronaldo and we wanted to put him in a position to always do well, thinking he could solve all the matches," Bonucci said.
'This year we are rediscovering that right humility that it serves to regain victory."
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