Cristiano Ronaldo January transfer verdict as Ten Hag told how to solve issue

Cristiano Ronaldo is enduring a difficult season, and his 2023 exit feels inevitable.


Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2022 by Express.co.uk

Former Manchester United striker Dion Dublin has backed Cristiano Ronaldo to remain at the club until the end of the season, despite his goalscoring struggles. Problems in front of goal have spread across United's attack this term, and Dublin has suggested a solution to Erik ten Hag.

Ronaldo has scored once in eight Premier League games this season, but he has started just twice amid doubts over where he fits in Ten Hag's desired style of play. Murmurs are growing about whether the 37-year-old could look for a way out in January rather than leaving when his contract expires next summer.

Speaking exclusively to Express Sport, Dublin played down talk of Ronaldo jumping ship midway through the campaign. And he believes part of his issues have stemmed from not having a consistent run of games, which he's been used to his entire illustrious career. He said: "I can see him staying until the end of the season instead of leaving in January.

"I'm not on the training ground, but from the outside looking in, I would imagine he'll be at United until the end of this season. I don't think he's been as potent as he normally is. He hasn't really had a lot of five, six, or seven games where you can start to get into your swing of things. When you start to do that as a forward, finishing becomes natural, and it becomes like anything could come off your backside, off your knee, off your shoulder; who cares?

Cristiano Ronaldo January transfer verdict as Ten Hag told how to solve issue
Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Man Utd in January.

"It goes into the back of the neck, normally. But it hasn't happened for any of the forwards because it's been chopped and changed all the time. So there hasn't been a player at Man United who has had a string of games where they can get in a run of scoring goals. So it's hard, especially as a forward, to score every single time you play. So they have to share the load a little bit, I think."

Only AFC Bournemouth have scored fewer goals than United among the Premier League's top 10 teams this season. The Red Devils have only won by more than a one-goal margin once in their opening nine outings but have grown a tendency to miss good chances as glimpses of Ten Hag's vision start to form.

Ronaldo is as guilty of squandering opportunities as the rest of the attacking department at Old Trafford. And Dublin, who lifted the Premier League with United in 1993, has suggested that Ten Hag being unable to consistently field the same front three has contributed to his forwards lacking the same clinical edge as other teams.

"I just think United don't have a centre-forward who is calm in front of goal," Dublin explained. "They don't have a centre-forward who slows down when they're about to finish. I love Marcus Rashford. As a footballer and as a person, I think he's great. [There is] so much more to come from him. As soon as he hits the ground running and he gets into a purple patch, we're going to see the Marcus Rashford that we want to see, especially in an England shirt as well as United.

"Jadon Sancho, so much more to come from him. Ronaldo is a genius. Bruno [Fernandes] can chip in as well. Elanga is getting a few more starts and a few more games as well. Casemiro has come in and made a difference. So there's a lot of quality in it, and it's just in the final third, they are not being ruthless enough, sticking the ball in the back of the net because chances are few and far between in the Premier League."



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