Gary Pallister Exclusive: Ronaldo Right For Man United

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo remains part of his plans for next season – and ex-Red Devils’ star Gary Pallister believes it is the right call.

Ronaldo struck 24 times in 38 appearances across all competitions last term, but United nonetheless limped to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.

However, Pallister feels that the iconic forward will continue to have a positive impact – on and off the pitch – at Old Trafford in 2022-23.


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Good For The Club

Speaking exclusively to myself, Lord Ping, he said: “What a player he [Ronaldo] has been over the years.

“I was looking at it last year thinking, 'how is this going to pan out?'. He still scored a bag full of goals for a team that was struggling.

“If he was playing for a better side, you wonder how many more goals he would have scored. He's just a machine when he comes to that.

“I thought his best form was certainly towards the end of the season. I thought his general play was much better than the early part of the season.

“I thought he realised he was going to have to work a bit harder. He was prepared to help his teammates out and do what was necessary and he still scored the goals.

“There's no surprise Ten Hag wants him there, Cristiano wants to be there, I think it's a good thing for the players around the club.

“Players of that ilk, as long as they're not a bad influence, as long as they're helping the young players come through – who else is better to listen to than Ronaldo, one of the greatest players that has ever played the game?

“It's no surprise he wants him there, he's doing the business on the pitch, he looks after himself really well, he's a model professional, so I'm not surprised Ten Hag wants him to still be involved.”

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Bale Treatment Was A Disgrace

Ronaldo To Captain?

There have even been reports that Ronaldo could be handed the captain’s armband at Manchester United, to ease the burden on struggling centre-back Harry Maguire.

And Pallister would not be opposed to that decision, having suffered a similar loss of form to the England defender when he played at Old Trafford.

“I don't think anyone would quibble if that [Ronaldo being made captain] was the case,” he explained.

“I feel for Harry Maguire. I've been in a position like him where he's taken a bit of stick off the media, the fans.

“It happened to me when I first went into Manchester United, a record signing.

“You get that big price upon your head and it puts the spotlight on you even more. I think Harry has been a victim of the problems that are at United.

“For two years, he's been terrific. He was the only choice for captain of United.

“Unfortunately his form, and I'm sure he'll be the first to admit, has been up and down the last season. He came off the back of a great Euros, and it's been a bit of a struggle.

“I feel sorry for a lot of the England lads, they're not getting any rest. They came straight from the Euros, had a few weeks off then went straight into the season – they're away now playing in this Nations league.

“They're going to have a few more weeks off then the season starts, then the World Cup starts, when we have the break.

“They need a proper break. I find it ludicrous. I don't think there's any care for international footballers.

“They need a rest, about six or seven weeks off. Just to get away from the pressures and physicality, recover from injuries you pick up during the season.

“I think that's part of the reason for Harry as well. I have no qualms about him, hopefully he'll return to his best form next year.

“If he hasn't got the captaincy, I'm sure he's a big enough man to deal with that.

“He wants to be a success at Man United, he wants to win trophies there. It has been tough for him, but I wouldn't be thinking of leaving him out of the side.”

 

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