Why Man United keeping Cristiano Ronaldo would be a disaster

cristiano ronaldo man united

Why Man United should let Cristiano Ronaldo go.

‘Everyone who knows me, knows about my never-ending love for Manchester United,’ begins Cristiano Ronaldo, in first Instagram post since his return to Old Trafford last August.

‘I can’t even start to explain my feelings right now,’ he goes on to say. ‘Dream come true’ is another phrase used in a 195-word post that finishes as follows:

Things haven’t worked out.

‘History has been written in the past and history will be written once again! You have my word! I’m right here! I’m back where I belong! Let’s make it happen once again! PS – Sir Alex, this one is for you…’

Barely 10 months on and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s mood would appear to be very different.

After a season in which history was very much not written once again, Ronaldo has made his feelings clear – he wants out after apparently becoming disillusioned with the club’s lack of activity in the transfer market.

Erik ten Hag.

The signing of Tyrell Malacia has since been announced and Christian Eriksen would appear to be next, but that doesn’t change the fact that United won’t be playing Champions League football this season, a competition in which Ronaldo still feels he belongs.

As he suggested in the aforementioned post, his return to Old Trafford may well have been for the benefit of his former boss Alex Ferguson – although that’s questionable – and, equally, his wish to leave could work in the favour of new manager Erik ten Hag.

While the Dutchman has previously spoken of his desire to work with Ronaldo, the fact that the forward is actively looking for a move away creates something of a dilemma for the new man.

A divided fanbase.

Most United fans welcomed the return of their hero last summer but it’s his impact since that has divided the fanbase more than any other topic in recent times.

There is one camp who point to the 24 goals Ronaldo scored in all competitions last season and suggest that to cut ties with such prolificacy would be madness.

Then, there are others who read into the talk of other players wilting in the superstar’s presence, disharmony over the captaincy and the fact that United scored sixteen fewer Premier League goals as a whole during 2021/22 than they did in the previous season.

There are also the reports from journalists on the Man United beat that the player disrupted drills on team shape under interim manager Ralf Rangnick as he found them “boring,” and that Rangnick ‘urged’ the club to sell their star player all the way back in January.

The Cristiano Ronaldo dilemma.

Ronaldo was at least able to pretend to the outside world that everything was rosy last season but that won’t be possible this campaign, now that he has already stated his intentions.

Given his massive wages and the need to adapt to having a player like Ronaldo in the team, it’s likely that there won’t be too many suitors looking to save him from his Old Trafford nightmare.

All of this leaves Ten Hag with the prospect of having a sulky 37-year-old moping around the place over the next year, something which is sure to be detrimental to his plan for bringing a winning culture back to the Man United dressing room.

There is also the argument that the club and player are at very different stages of their development. United are back to square one after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became the fourth post-Ferguson permanent manager to be sacked in just over seven years last winter.

Ronaldo, on the other hand, will be looking at his age and concluding that he hasn’t got time to waste at a club who are back at the drawing board in their ambition to challenge for the major domestic and European honours once again.

Currently the holder of five Champions League winner’s medals, if he wants to cement his legacy by winning a sixth, it won’t be happening in the red of Man United.

Pre-season tour.

The squad are due to fly out for their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia this coming Friday and with Ronaldo reportedly spotted in Portugal earlier this week, it would appear that he has little intention of ensuring that he is on the plane.

Even if he does show up at the airport, does Ten Hag really need the ongoing circus to follow him to the other side of the world, on a trip which he will be hoping to fine-tune tactics and squad harmony?

Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are the clubs most frequently linked with a move for Ronaldo and you would suspect that Ten Hag is hoping something happens on that front sooner rather than later.

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