Paul Merson thinks Manchester United should forget about Cristiano Ronaldo and move on.
Cristiano Ronaldo made his first appearance under Erik ten Hag in the 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday – a week before our first game of the Premier League season versus Brighton.
We know that Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has been desperately trying to engineer a summer move for his biggest client, so CR7 made sure he was in the headlines by leaving the stadium before full-time.
Erik ten Hag decided to substitute Ronaldo at half-time as nobody at Old Trafford expected him to play over 45 minutes after missing the pre-season tour.
Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson thinks United should draw a line in the sand when it comes to Ronaldo. Writing in his Daily Star column, the pundit said: “Manchester United have got to draw the line and get rid of Cristiano Ronaldo. The saga has to end sooner rather than later.
“He’s told you what he wants, so why hang onto him? The lad won’t be sitting at home doing nothing but he hasn’t played any football and is now 37. Every footballer will tell you that to get fit you’ve got to play football matches, that’s why they have pre-season friendlies.
“I really don’t know how the fans are going to take it now because he’s made it abundantly clear he wants to leave. Nobody wants him and he’s stuck in limbo. I think United would have loved it if he’d have gone, of course they would of but it’s the way you do it. If they just say ‘see you later Ronaldo’ the fans will go crazy.
“If they can make him out to be the bad one, I think they’ve had a result. In all honestly, I don’t think he does them any favours anyway. People say he got 24 goals last season but United never looked like winning anything.
“It’s alright him doing that but it’s like a snooker player making 147s every game but never winning a tournament. It’s a team game and I know he scores goals but it starts from the front and you have to close the ball down.”
Only time will tell when it comes to Ronaldo’s future, but I don’t want players at United who would rather be elsewhere. There was too much of that last season.
I can see why people argue for Ronaldo with his 24 goals last season, but this is a fresh start under Erik ten Hag and I didn’t appreciate his late return for pre-season training.
Ronaldo wants the story to be about him and United should move on.