Dutch legend Marco van Basten believes Cristiano Ronaldo will have no issues working under incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag.
There have been question marks about whether Ronaldo, at the age of 37, will be able to adapt to the high-octane, pressing demands of Ten Hag’s brand of football, a narrative that has followed him for much of this season despite his typically-prolific goal return.
Both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick are renowned for adopting a more intense, counter-pressing style, and there have been arguments that Ronaldo may in fact be hindering the greater good of the team, even though he is Man Utd’s top scorer this campaign.
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That same debate has been bubbling under the surface since Ten Hag was announced as Man Utd’s permanent successor to Solskjaer, with major surgery expected to take place at Old Trafford this summer, particularly after Rangnick claimed the club may need as many as “ten” new players.
Despite an overhaul set to take place, three-time Ballon d’Or winner Van Basten believes that Ten Hag would be foolish to abandon Ronaldo.
“If Ronaldo carries on playing like he did last week [against Norwich] and scores two or three goals in a match on a regular basis, there is no need to take him out of the team,” Van Basten told The Rondo Show.
“Ronaldo is a player who does his own thing, but as long as he delivers, you have to give him a place in the team.
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“Ten Hag will take into account that he cannot ask the same things physically from Cristiano Ronaldo that he will be asking of an 18-year-old.
“Of course Ronaldo will need to work hard – but I am sure he will work hard because I can see Ten Hag having an influence on him to get him to play how he wants.”