Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag drops hint on the future of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford
As quoted by The Sun, incoming new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has dropped a hint on the future of Cristiano Ronaldo at the club when the Dutchman takes charge next season, describing the forward as a “giant”.
The Dutchman is set to take over at Old Trafford after the side’s final game of the campaign against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on May 22. The head coach will be joining the team after leading Ajax Amsterdam to their third consecutive Eredivisie title, which is a massive achievement for any manager.
Speaking about his plans in Manchester, ten Hag said that there was a lot of work to be done at his new club and that he would be skipping the party in Curacao with the rest of the Ajax staff. He said that there were a number of things to do at United, including organising the staff as well as the selection of players.
“Tomorrow there will be a party with the staff, but I am not going to Curacao. I think that’s understandable. There is a lot of work to do there. That is the case with every club. A number of things still need to be organised in the staff and also in the selection. We will be working intensively on this from tomorrow.”
He will be taking over a club that has endured a poor season, failing to qualify for the Champions League next term. Despite splashing the cash on stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, and Jadon Sancho last summer, the side sits in sixth position in the Premier League table at the moment.
“He is a giant”
Ronaldo’s future at the club is in doubt after the Manchester side failed to win any silverware or qualify for the UCL – something that is rare in the career of the 37-year-old. The Portugal captain has another year left on his contract, but that does not guarantee his stay at Old Trafford next season.
However, ten Hag has dropped a huge hint about the forward’s future beyond the summer. The manager said that his job was to make the Red Devils function as a team, including Ronaldo, who he labelled as a giant.
“At United, there are a lot of good players. We have to make them function as a team, but definitely Ronaldo — he is a giant.”
Despite United enduring a poor season in England as well as in Europe, Ronaldo has been one of the very few bright spots for the team. He has regularly supplied the goals for the side, with the Portuguese star being the driving force behind the club’s run to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
In the absence of the injured Edinson Cavani and out-of-form Marcus Rashford, the former Real Madrid man has single-handedly taken on the responsibility of scoring for his side. Aside from a dip in form early in 2022, the forward has regularly impressed up front for the Red Devils.
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ten Hag is known to be a manager who builds young and dynamic teams, most evident from his youthful Ajax side that made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019. Although Ronaldo is 37, the Dutchman seems to have hinted at keeping him next season after realising his value for the Old Trafford outfit.
This is encouraging news to fans who will be keen to see Ronaldo stay for yet another year and continue to lead the line for the team. He has a lot left to offer and a lot to teach the younger players in the dressing room. Only time will tell if this still remains the case when the new season begins, or if the club legend decides on a new transfer destination.