Our midfield issues have existed long before we signed Ronaldo. Using the Ronaldo deal as an excuse for "bad finances" and not being able to have a proper midfield is being too forgiving with the management of this club.
These issues should've been addressed 4-5 seasons ago. Not now or a year ago.
we had money even after signing ronaldo, we just made some shitty choices, besides some good ones. for the sake of comparison, barella costs inda ~18m per season, bennacer costs less than 6m, fabian ruiz is around 8m, gross salary and amortization included. ramsey and rabiot cost us ~26-27m combined, and these are our "free" signings. add bonucci (~19m), arthur (~23m), and that's almost 70m per season spent on expensive players playing below par. and there are all those rookies we spent a smaller fortune on and didn't even wear the jersey once (pellegrini, mandragora, gori, romero). not to mention that we had max and maurice on our payroll at the same time, and we still pay maurice some millions until some loser club gets him off of our payroll. imagine spending that money wisely by either getting one or two quality mids instead of multiple market opportunities, or just by listening to allegri and getting rid of the dead weight instead of firing him.
we're simply the new inda anno 2010: we're overpaying players and their agents massively. it doesn't look as bad as this when we're winning, but this season, we're unfortunately not.
Ronaldo is not the problem. Instead of signing “free” mercenary midfielders with high wages we could have signed Barella or Sensi for example. We could have addressed the fullback depth etc. Seemingly small mistakes compounded over and over is the problem.