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How will Manchester United deal with its Cristiano Ronaldo problem?

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25th October, 2022

There are equal shares of fans either saying Cristiano Ronaldo should stay at the club or that he needs to leave at the earliest opportunity.

You can see the frustration Ronaldo has endured thus far so early in the current campaign. His lack of playing time in 2022-23 is a real cause for concern, especially with next month’s World Cup well within his sights.

It seems Ronaldo’s status at Manchester United is increasingly under threat after the 37-year-old was axed from United’s latest Premier League squad that faced Chelsea, a real statement of intent from manager Erik Ten Hag.

This came after the three-time Premier League winner refused to come on as a late second-half substitute in United’s 2-0 victory against Tottenham.

It raises questions as to whether Ten Hag needs to continue to stamp his authority when a player misbehaves – just like Ronaldo did against Tottenham – or whether the Dutchman should have a greater deal of respect for one of the best footballers in history.

Are we of the mindset of the famous Roy Keane, who recently expressed his displeasure at the way his former teammate is being treated? Or of the opposed view of Gary Neville, also a former teammate of Ronaldo’s at United, who said the former Real Madrid and Juventus star needs to either come to terms with his restricted role in the squad or leave?

CHISINAU, MOLDOVA - SEPTEMBER 15: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates after scoring their team's second goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League group E match between Sheriff Tiraspol and Manchester United at Stadionul Sheriff on September 15, 2022 in Tiraspol, Moldova. (Photo by Oleg Bilsagaev/Getty Images)

(Photo by Oleg Bilsagaev/Getty Images)

These are the sort of things people are deeply thinking about. However, there are few definitive answers.


No matter what lens you look at this through, this saga has brought negative attention towards the team and is something they will look to shake off and resolve sooner rather than later.

With only two goals next to his name this season, it has become increasingly evident that Ten Hag prefers a younger and more mobile attack. This has often led to Englishman Marcus Rashford leading the line alongside Jadon Sancho and new signing Antony either side of him.

The above caters to the sort of style the Dutchman is trying to instil in the playing group, and it seems that Ronaldo is not at the focal point of those plans based on what we have witnessed thus far – the complete opposite of what it was under previous management when he returned to the Theatre of Dreams last August.

The Red Devils have displayed improvements, having lost only one league match from their past nine encounters. In that sense it shows that Ten Hag is doing things right.

On the flip side of that, the red half of Manchester lacks a consistent goalscoring presence, something Ronaldo has made a remarkable habit of being throughout his career. He has 700 club goals, to be exact, and he’s the very first player to do so in football history.

You only hope in a situation like this that some common ground can be established if Ronaldo decides to leave the club for the second time in his career. The last thing the United faithful will want to undergo is a painful breakup.

There is also the scenario in which things get sorted between the player and manager. This could see him stay for the rest of the season to help overturn a lack of success the club has been deprived of over the past five years.


If there is one player who can have a huge influence to change that narrative, it is one of the best players ever to grace a football pitch: Cristiano Ronaldo.

What do you think? How will this Ronaldo situation play out?