It could be the right time for Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United.
The Portugal international is dominating headlines again, but it seems that the may be a genuine chance of him leaving Old Trafford, and perhaps even playing for one of United’s rivals in the Premier League.
Still, former Red Devils midfielder Luke Chadwick feels this could work to his old club’s favour, as it gives new manager Erik ten Hag the chance to start with a bit more of a clean slate.
Chadwick does admit, though, that he was surprised to see rumours of Ronaldo wanting out.
“I was surprised, to be honest,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “He had a good season last season in a poorly-performing team. I sort of imagined, at his age, that he’d be looking to finish his career at United. So when the news broke it surprised me, and it’s obviously not come at a great time. There’s a bit more positivity around the club with pre-season starting under the new manager, the new signing Tyrell Malacia coming in, and now this has sort of put a cloud over it all.
“It’s disappointing, but I can understand he’ll want to play in the Champions League. Maybe it’s come at the right time. Ten Hag will want to put his own stamp on the team and maybe this is a chance to do that. Obviously Ronaldo is an icon of the game, but it could be the right time for him to go and to allow Ten Hag to put his own philosophy in place.”
Chadwick is worried, however, by the prospect of Ronaldo playing for one of Man Utd’s rivals, saying he hopes he ends up at Bayern Munich rather than Chelsea.
“The Chelsea links are strange. It’s hard to imagine him in a blue shirt, and at one of United’s rivals,” Chadwick said.
“Obviously he’d add to their squad, and they’re looking for a goal-scorer now that Romelu Lukaku has gone. A short-term deal for Ronaldo could make sense for them.
“For United fans it would be very disappointing to see him playing in the Premier League for another club. It would sour things a little – to go to another Premier League team would be hard to swallow.
“You’d rather see him go somewhere like Bayern Munich, and I’d imagine that would be more to his liking anyway. He’s won the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, so to add the Bundesliga to that would be another way to add to his legacy in European football.”
This whole saga has sparked some debate about whether or not re-signing Ronaldo last summer was really the right call.
There was clearly a lot of sentiment at play as the surprise opportunity to bring back a club legend presented itself, but Chadwick still thinks it was a good decision, even if it’s not gone entirely to plan.
“If a player like Ronaldo becomes available there’ll be a huge number of clubs interested, and Man United, where they were at the time, and his history at the club, I think it made sense,” Chadwick said.
“It was a disappointing season, but Ronaldo scored 24 goals, played really well, and brought a real buzz back to Old Trafford, even if did end up being a bit short-lived. To see him wearing that red shirt and to hear the fans chanting his name again, it’ll never be forgotten. There’s no doubt it was an emotionally-driven signing, but it can’t be classed as a poor signing in my opinion.”