Jamie Carragher demands Erik ten Hag axes Cristiano Ronaldo in Man Utd rant

Jamie Carragher believes that Erik ten Hag should make his mark at Manchester United by axing Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.

Ten Hag is into his first week at the helm of United, who finished sixth in the Premier League after enduring a miserable season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick. The Dutchman is settling into the role and making plans for the summer transfer window, which opens for business on July 1.

Ten Hag spoke to the media for the first time on Monday and was asked if Ronaldo will be a part of his plans for the 2022/23 season. “Of course,” he replied. He was then asked what he can expect from the Portuguese forward. “Goals,” he said bluntly.

Ronaldo scored 24 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions this season, but will turn 38 in February. Former Liverpool defender Carragher thinks Ten Hag should follow Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp ’s lead and make a bold call on Ronaldo’s future, rather than allowing him to see out the last year of his contract.

“I’m thinking of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp right now,” he said on Sky Sports’ Overlap Fan Debate. “When Pep came into Man City he just went, ‘Joe Hart, no.’ And everyone was like, wow this is England’s keeper he’s been a great player for City, but it was like ‘No, you’re not here’. When Klopp came into Liverpool, they had brought in players under Brendan Rodgers that summer, I think [Christian] Benteke cost £35-40million, he was a few quid but Klopp said, ‘You’re not for me, out.’ It was like making that big bold decision straight away that makes everyone sit up and take note.

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“I’m convinced that Ten Hag has got to do it with Ronaldo, whether he’s allowed to or not. I’ve said this consistently throughout this season: that was not a good signing. Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of all time and I’m seen as a guy who’s criticising Ronaldo.

“Ronaldo is a million times a better player than I ever was, I am not fit to lace his boots obviously but I’m not saying that to be disrespectful to him – he’s amazing – but Ronaldo has never played in a team this bad. He’s always played for great teams and his attitude of trying to be the main man, driving the team on, getting the goals, when you’re in a great team that is seen as a positive.

“When you’re not playing for a great team it can be seen as a negative and I think it has been this season. Man United can’t go into next season with a centre-forward who will be 38, even if he does score goals. That’s not right for Man United.”

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