Gary Neville and Roy Keane agree Cristiano Ronaldo can play role at Man Utd under Erik Ten Hag | Soccer News

Gary Neville and Roy Keane both believe Cristiano Ronaldo’s exploits can make up for the faults in his defensive play at Man Utd under Erik Ten Hag next season.

Ronaldo moved level with Heung-min Son into second in the Premier League goalscoring charts with his 17th of the season on Thursday, earning United a 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Thursday night with what was his fifth strike in his last three games for the club.

The 37-year-old has scored eight of United’s last nine goals, including hat-tricks against Tottenham and Norwich, in an emphatic response to the criticism leveled at him earlier in the season in a one-off series. goal in 10 games. .

Both Neville and Keane pointed to Ronaldo’s poor fit for Ten Hag’s pressing style, but said the five-time Ballon D’Or winner’s sheer quality meant he should have a chance to see the second on his contract two years at Old Trafford.

Speaking on the Podcast by Gary NevilleNeville said: “He lifts the fans up, he puts them on the edge of their seats, takes his chances, and it’ll be really interesting to see what happens with Erik Ten Hag.

“We know he plays with an aggressive press, he tries to get the ball high up the pitch, that’s not Cristiano’s strong point and we know that. But he will want a goalscorer. He will want someone who can put the ball the back of the net 20 or 25 times.

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Roy Keane and Jamie Redknapp discuss how Erik Ten Hag will go about transforming this Manchester United side and bringing success to Old Trafford.

“Can Manchester United use him as a bridge next season to get them through Erik Ten Hag’s first season? Ronaldo is a phenomenon. He has achieved everything and more in the game, his professionalism is beyond anything you could wish for, really.

“He always continues – his perseverance, his determination to score goals is absolutely amazing. You can’t speak highly enough of him, his goal tonight was magnificent and he doesn’t really lose confidence when the rest of the team is really lacks confidence – his is still there.

“It’s a feeling, an absolute feeling. I talked about the attitude of the players in the first half and I wasn’t really talking about him, he has proven himself over a long period and what he does , his body shape and recovery from the tragedy last week only to perform again, to get back on the bike and go when he could have easily said he was out for a few weeks. , he has been a shining light in some ways.”

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Keane highlighted Ronaldo’s mastery of ‘the hardest part of the game’ – scoring goals: he has scored 20 times in 12 consecutive league seasons, with the possibility of making 13 in the last three games of this campaign .

And the former United captain said the defensive role played in part by some former strikers, including Eric Cantona and Ruud Van Nistelrooy, during his time at the club shows how Ten Hag could build a pressing team around Ronaldo in his first season at the helm. .

Keane said sky sports“I know that people are quick to criticize this [Ronaldo] doesn’t, in terms of pressing, but he’s never been good at it anyway. He is the best at the hardest part of the game – getting the ball into the net.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s draw against Chelsea in the Premier League.

“It was his only chance tonight. Look at the chances Chelsea were creating; imagine if he had been in the Chelsea team – he would probably score 50 goals.

“Ten Hag will have a sleepless night watching the team, but if you have a player in the squad who can score that many goals, he needs to be involved. He will want to play week-in week-out, the new manager will come in and look for a another striker but Ronaldo doesn’t hang around unless he’s playing.

“That’s his biggest challenge, working with these personalities. As brilliant as they are, he has to have a team that can compete. And if that’s getting the ball high and pressing, Ronaldo isn’t good for that. But I still think you can have him on your team and have other players who can do that.

“Cantona, Van Nistelrooy wouldn’t be good at getting the ball back to you, but we had enough guys in the squad who could win it. People say you need all your players to press, but you can get away with it. one player, and as long as they produce the goods, you will forgive them.”

Rangnick: United need ‘a few’ new strikers

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Ralf Rangnick says his Manchester United side improved in the second half of their Premier League draw against Chelsea.

Speaking after Ronaldo’s latest involvement in a bid to score points, caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick says Manchester United have become dependent on the Portuguese striker and will need to invest in that department when the transfer window opens. open to.

“Yes, at the moment we are counting on Cristiano a lot,” he said in the press conference after Chelsea’s draw. “He also showed a good performance when Chelsea were in possession, he helped a lot defensively in the second half.

“You have to focus on bringing in some new attackers, that’s for sure.”

Sky Sports

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