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Massive Blow For Manchester United as Star Forward Hands in Request to Leave the Club This Summer

Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United, Saudi club

Many Manchester United fans have had their hearts broken in the last few days after hearing that Cristiano Ronaldo has asked to leave the club. The Portuguese legend had a decent individual season after his return to Old Trafford ahead of the 2021/22 campaign and still has one more year left on his contract.

And just when United looked calm about Ronaldo’s situation at the club, out of nowhere, he dropped a bomb on the whole fandom of the club. There was already some uncertainty surrounding his future at United, with Sir Alex Ferguson personally trying to convince the Portuguese forward to stay.

The 37-year-old is known as Mr Champions League, because of his monumental records in the competition. Ronaldo is the all time record goal-scorer of the top European club competition, with a mammoth 140 goals and 5 CL titles. Moreover, since he began his senior career, there hasn’t been a single season when he didn’t feature in the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United
Image obtained via The Independent

Meanwhile, the Red Devils would be participating in the Europa League in the upcoming season. Failing to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition could be another reason for the forward wanting to leave Old Trafford this summer.

Additionally, United’s lack of signings in this transfer window has caused Ronaldo to take this action. The 5-time Balon d’Or winner returned to England to win more trophies. However, the Red Devils had a catastrophic season which meant they did not win any trophies or even reach any finals.

Champions League qualification seems to be the minimum requirement for Cristiano Ronaldo but Manchester United couldn’t achieve that. In fact, they barely managed to finish in a Europa League spot. Had West Ham United won against Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day of the recently concluded Premier League season, the Red Devils would have to play the 3rd tier UEFA competition, UEFA Europa Conference League.

The Times were the first to report this breaking news. The first month of the transfer window is already gone. While their rivals are completing marquee signings, United are finding it difficult to confirm even one signing, that too after such a disappointing season.

The transfer window has been a growing concern among the fans and they are hoping that United will announce the Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen signings within the next few days. Cristiano Ronaldo is concerned about his future with Manchester United as there are currently no signs of improvement at the club.

The 37-year-old forward was linked with a move to Chelsea when his agent Jorge Mendes met with Chelsea owner Todd Boehly, as revealed by The Athletic. He was also linked with a move to Bayern Munich as a replacement for Robert Lewandowski. All the clubs must be on alert now that he has handed in a transfer request.

If Cristiano Ronaldo stays at Manchester United, it will be the first time in 20 years that the Portuguese will not play in a Champions League campaign. It has to be noted that the Red Devils reached the round of 16 in the Champions League last season mostly because of Ronaldo’s heroics in the group stages. A 37-year-old put in better performances than those young lads at Old Trafford. He showed his world-class mentality to perform at the top level even at this age.

Why Cristiano Ronaldo Leaving Could Be A Blessing In Disguise For Manchester United?

Before Ronaldo arrived at the club, United finished second in the Premier League and they looked like they were on the rise. In the following transfer window, United signed Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Some had already given United the title shout after three such strong signings in the summer. However, the season was far from their expectations and the results could not have been worse.

The arrival of Ronaldo may have put pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to deliver quick success. Maybe Solskjaer was supposed to build a team around the legend of the game and bring trophies to Old Trafford within the next 12 months. Nevertheless, that did not turn out well for the Norwegian manager who was sacked six months into the season. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick also failed to get the best out of the Portuguese during his short stint at the club.

Ronaldo’s age puts some pressure on the managers as they have to build the team that is best suited to the Portuguese and that can sometimes force the managers to abandon their preferred systems. Similarly, Ronaldo’s presence can make Erik ten Hag tweak his original system so that Ronaldo can perform at his best.

But then, the manager may find it difficult to make the overall system work and subsequently, the team results will suffer like what happened last season. Ronaldo gets his wish but the gaffer is unable to make the rest of the team perform, which, mind you, is the manager’s number one duty – to make the whole team play well so that they win collectively.

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The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo could help Erik ten Hag to build a team exactly the way he prefers. The Dutch manager will get the time to understand his squad and make the right changes so that he can get the best out of them.

Whereas with Ronaldo in the squad, Ten Hag might have to abandon his philosophy and take quick-fix steps so that they win trophies in the upcoming season. However, the Red Devils must first provide a suitable striker to the Dutchman to succeed and that looks like a tough job for United at the moment.

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