Jamie Carragher has urged Erik ten Hag to offload Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer transfer window as he prepares for his first season in charge at Manchester United.
The 37-year-old enjoyed an impressive run of form in front of goal for the Red Devils following his return to the club from Juventus in the summer, but it ended up being a disappointing campaign for the team as they ended up sixth in the table and without a trophy.
Ronaldo scored 24 goals and made three assists in 37 games for the Red Devils in all competitions but it was not enough to prevent them from slumping to a below-par season in which they missed out on Champions League qualification.
Former Liverpool FC and England defender Carragher has now stated his belief that Ten Hag should look to sell Ronaldo in the summer ahead of his first season, because he feels that the Portugal captain has not been a smart signing for the club despite his impeccable form in front of goal.
Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Carragher said: “(Jurgen) Klopp comes into Liverpool straight away, they’d bought players under Brendan Rodgers that summer.
“I think (Christian) Benteke cost them about £35-40m, it was a few quid, he was a big signing, centre-forward, and he was like: ‘You’re not for me, out!’ And making that big bold decision straight away, it makes everyone sit up and think ‘Oh this fella takes this job seriously!’
“I’m convinced he’s (Ten Hag) got to do that with Ronaldo, whether he’s allowed to or not, and I’ve said this consistently throughout this season, that was not a good signing.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of all time, and I’m seen as criticising him – Ronaldo is a million times better than I could ever be, I couldn’t lace his boots, obviously, but I’m not saying that to be disrespectful to him, he’s amazing.
“But Ronaldo has never played in a team this bad, he’s played in some of the best teams and has the attitude of wanting to be the main man, trying to get the goals, driving people on, and when you’re in a great team, that’s something I’m seeing as a positive.
“When you’re not playing in a great team it can be something that is seen as a negative, and I think it has been a negative this season.
“Manchester United can’t go into next season with a centre forward who is going to be 38, even if he does score goals that’s not right for Man United.”
Manchester United’s football director John Murtough this week described Ten Hag as the “standout” choice to take over at Old Trafford after the club decided to appoint the former Ajax boss on an initial three-year contract, with the option for a further year.
The Dutchman set out an impressive “long-term vision to build a successful, exciting team,” while in discussions about the role, Murtough said, adding that Ten Hag’s vision “most closely aligned with the identity and aims of Manchester United.”
The Red Devils are likely to be busy in the summer transfer market as they look to revamp their squad ahead of Ten Hag’s first season in charge.
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Source: Sport Review