Manchester United is in a strange place now. No, not in the Premier League table. The Red Devils have a lot on their plate. They are embroiled in a fight for fourth place. A new manager is coming after the end of the season.
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Although nothing has been confirmed, Erik ten Hag is the preferred candidate for the job. Old Trafford is due to be redeveloped soon. Therefore, one can be forgiven if he thinks that the problems of the team are being overlooked.
A team of leading consultants has been appointed to begin work on the creation of a master plan for the redevelopment of Old Trafford.#MUFC
– Manchester United (ManUtd) April 14, 2022
In all this, there was one player who practically carried the team. Cristiano Ronaldo is having a prolific season in a career full of them. A hat-trick against Norwich raised his tally in all competitions to 21 goals. Simply put, Ronaldo should stay for next season regardless of the coach.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 21 goals in all competitions for Manchester United this season. 🇵🇹 #MUFC pic.twitter.com/IkHEjXIY6S
– Fabrizio Romano April 16 2022
For all the talk about his unsuitability for ‘style of play’, his importance in front of goal is unparalleled. Therefore, United have to make sure that all parties are working towards it.
Goals, objectives and more goals
Cristiano Ronaldo’s only guarantee is the continued flow of goals. Ronaldo’s scoring record in England and Spain speaks for itself. He scored 81 league goals with Juventus in three seasons. The diversity across leagues and countries has been amazing.
Cristiano Ronaldo with Juventus:
🎽 134 games
⚽ 101 goals
🅰️ 22 assists
🏆2 x Scudetto
🏆2 x Supercoppa
🏆1 x Italian Cup
🥇Serie A MVP
🥇 Team of the Year
🥇Serie best scorer
🥇 Serie A Player of the Year
Happy 37th birthday, Tweet embed. 🐐🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/wL1bE6bKWj
– Max Statman (emaxstatman) February 4, 2022
Moreover, his work ethic and determination to improve with age is world famous. For example, a hat-trick against Norwich brought his career tally to 60. Exactly half of them came after Ronaldo turned 30 years old.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Ronaldo continues to do the same for United. Needless to say, the 2021-22 season was the toughest yet.
The Red Devils are a group of casual players with a few superstars who don’t have a clear identity to play. That is why the fact that Ronaldo continues to produce merchandise stands out.
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It almost always appears
In addition, Cristiano Ronaldo was the player who lives the big moments. He has already proven that in 2021-22 with some very important goals across competitions. Ronaldo’s ability to stay running throughout the full match has been the hallmark of his entire career.
Therefore, if his teammates can provide him with good balls, Ronaldo can get away with blows.
The worst season for Cristiano Ronaldo 🙄
via Tweet embed pic.twitter.com/nssoKJAOxd
– sportbible April 17 2022
He has averaged 3.93 shots per 90 shots over the past year, placing him among the top 97 percent of players across Europe. Ronaldo’s movement off the ball and his knack for finding space have been integral to his continued success.
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Therefore, even when he does not score, Ronaldo can pull the opponent’s defense towards him to create chances for his teammates. There is already an over-reliance on Ronaldo right now, and for good reason.
There are no alternatives
The options except for Cristiano Ronaldo were bleak. Marcus Rashford is going through the worst recession of his career. Anthony Martial has left on loan and may leave at the end of the season. Anthony Ilanga has been shining in the spots but still has a long way to go.
Cristiano Ronaldo 🇵🇹
⚽️ 14 goals
🅰️ 3 passes
Bruno Fernandez 🇵🇹
⚽️ 7 goals
🅰️ 10 Passes#MUFC pic.twitter.com/7Qd1ywq4vI
StretfordPaddck January 26 2022
In all likelihood, Mason Greenwood will never be able to play again. Edinson Cavani had only made six posts. This made Jadon Sancho seem the most dangerous besides Ronaldo. Whenever Ronaldo missed matches, United looked toothless in front of goal. There is no central point to attack once Ronaldo is out of the squad.
The impending appointment of Eric ten Hag will not alter Edinson Cavani’s future at Man United. He is still expected to leave on a free transfer in June, with La Liga as a possible next destination. 🔴 #MUFC
Jesse Lingard also explores and studies free transportation options. pic.twitter.com/8ixn5PeFtp
– Fabrizio Romano April 14, 2022
However, there is a growing feeling that the board of directors will spend significantly in the summer to support the new director. Regardless of who comes and who is brought in, Ronaldo must be present for several reasons.
What happens in the summer?
Lots of things, probably. The new manager will definitely want to bring in reinforcements. It was United’s lack of a clever defensive midfielder, right winger and perhaps a stark center back.
Furthermore, a striker would be needed given that Cavani and Ronaldo together are over 72 years old. The Uruguayan will leave alongside Nemanja Matic.
There were also talks about the new manager and perhaps even Erik ten Hag selling Ronaldo. That would be a huge mistake. Ronaldo still has a lot to give and he will continue to do so.
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There is no guarantee how much the board is willing to spend after the massive investment in 2021. Ronaldo is the mentor and leader in the dressing room, so any young striker would be taken under his wing.
#mufcHis main target is a striker alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. United are also looking for a midfielder, with the same size and physique as Nemanja Matic # moleve [@Plettigoal]
– utdreport (utdreport) April 11, 2022
In addition, United can also promote Alejandro Garnacho who is a big fan of Ronaldo. Therefore, the continued existence of the Portuguese legend until 2023 will benefit all parties.
The question of whether Cristiano Ronaldo should stay or go beyond 2021-22 will be a topic of debate for a long time. Only the next manager will be able to provide clarity. There is no doubt that Ronaldo will only survive if he remains a regular. Therefore, United have to be careful how they handle this situation for fear of alienating one of the club’s all-time greats.