Former Premier League striker Darren Bent believes Cristiano Ronaldo could be a problem for Erik Ten Hag at Manchester United.
Ten Hag takes over at the Red Devils with the club in disarray. A sixth-place Premier League finish may not seem like the end of the world, but it is far off where they should be, and the performances this past campaign were particularly dire.
The 58 points they mustered is their lowest total in the Premier League era, while they finished on a level goal difference. Not only that, but there have also been worrying reports of dressing room mutiny.
Speaking on TalkSport, Bent suggested Ronaldo’s lack of defensive effort could mean the Portugal international is a problem for the incoming boss.
He said: “Ronaldo, in itself, is a big issue. He’s been fantastic this season, scored a lot of goals. He’s done well for them in quite a poor season. But only him and De Gea can say they’ve walked away [from] this season with their head held high.
“But if he’s going to play this high-press, high-attacking game and Ronaldo doesn’t fit that, then he’s going to have made that big decision.”
TIF Thoughts on Ronaldo’s future
Indeed, while a number of United players have let themselves down this season, Ronaldo has often been the man to come to their rescue. The £31.5m-valued 37-year-old netted 24 goals in 38 games in all competitions, including 18 in the league – only Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min managed more.
Will Ronaldo be a problem?
However, he had plenty of critics, with many suggesting his style is self-serving rather than for the benefit of the squad. At the end of the day, Ten Hag must look to get the best out of him and fit him into the side – as Ronaldo at his highest level is someone you cannot do without.