Erik ten Hag on Cristiano Ronaldo.
Erik ten Hag has indicated that he wants to keep Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United next season.
The incoming Red Devils manager signed off on his AFC Ajax tenure with a 2-2 draw at Vitesse Arnhem on Sunday, just days after winning his third Eredivisie title with the Dutch club.
Attention will now turn to his next role in Manchester, where the future of Ronaldo remains one of the main talking points, with a year to go on the 37-year-old’s contract.
Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford last August and has scored 24 goals in all competitions this season, but there had been question marks over whether the veteran will fit into Ten Hag’s plans next season.
Trophies & Football – That’s a legacy 🏆 pic.twitter.com/D0a2uXT8Qb
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) May 15, 2022
Erik ten Hag: “Cristiano Ronaldo is a giant.”
“From tomorrow, my focus will be on United, and I will of course get deep into things there,” Ten Hag said, in interview with Dutch journalist Mike Verweij, after his final game with Ajax on Sunday.
“What I have to say about it is, the detailed analysis still has to begin, I still have to work with the team, but let me be clear that at United there are a lot of good players around.
“We have to make them function as a team but definitely Ronaldo, he is a giant, because of what he has already shown, and I think he is still very ambitious. Of course I want to keep him in. He has been very important for Manchester United this year and can show great statistics.”
Ronaldo on Ten Hag.
It would seem that Ten Hag’s excitement about working with Ronaldo is mutual, with the forward speaking of his admiration for the coach just last week.
“What I know about him is he did a fantastic job for Ajax, that he’s an experienced coach,” the five-time Ballon d’Or winner said.
“Things need to change the way he wants. I hope we have success, of course, because, if you have success, all of Manchester is going to have success as well. I wish him the best.”
Criticism from former players.
In his interview on Sunday, Ten Hag also touched on the influence of United’s army of successful former players in the media, stating that he is ready to cope with comments from the likes of Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand and Roy Keane.
“This has influence,” the 52-year-old said. “But it can’t influence our dressing room. Maybe the criticism is bigger over there because the Premier League is much bigger. Fortunately I have a lot of baggage to cope with this.”
Ten Hag is sure to be keeping a close eye as United wrap up their miserable season with a trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday.