Exclusive: Former Man Utd ace makes prediction about Cristiano Ronaldo’s role under Erik ten Hag this season
Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has told CaughtOffside that he expects Cristiano Ronaldo will get more opportunities to start games as the season goes on. Ronaldo has had to make do with a fairly bit-part role under new manager Erik ten Hag so far, with the Portugal international having to make do with a place on the bench following a lengthy summer transfer saga that saw him miss the majority of the club’s pre-season fixtures. It could now be a long way back for Ronaldo under Ten Hag, but Chadwick feels that the 37-year-old should still be a useful member of the squad as there will be so many games in a short space of time due to the hectic schedule in this winter World Cup year. “I don’t think Ronaldo’s going to start every game, but with the massive volume of fixtures because of the way they’re cramming them in in this World Cup year, there’s going to be opportunities for him,” Chadwick said.
“Obviously Ten Hag changed the team and left Ronaldo out after the Brentford game, and you do wonder if results hadn’t quite gone United’s way, would he have brought Ronaldo back in, but credit to Rashford, he’s performing well and if the team does well in Ronaldo’s absence then he’s not going to be in a hurry to change that.” Chadwick added that he expected Ronaldo to leave United this summer, but is now pleased to see how the player seems to be conducting himself since failing to get a move away.
“I was fully expecting him to leave, but he looks like he’s in a good place and his attitude’s been bang-on,” the ex-Red Devil said. “He’s a tremendous professional, you could see the way he celebrated Antony’s goal from the bench, and the work he did when he came on – he pressed a bit more than we’re used to seeing, he held the ball up.” Ronaldo scored 24 goals for MUFC last season, but it was a dire campaign overall that saw most of the squad struggle and only finish 6th in the Premier League.