Graeme Souness has warned Manchester United that they would be “crazy” to let Cristiano Ronaldo leave the club this summer.
Speaking in his column in The Daily Mail, Souness believes it’s a must for Erik ten Hag to get Ronaldo on side and leading the line for United, this season.
Ronaldo’s desire to leave the club in order to continue his Champions League legacy has been well publicized, giving Ten Hag an early headache he could have done without.
However, with most clubs distancing themselves from the signing, it’s looking increasingly likely CR7 will stay at Old Trafford this season.
Souness cites the standards Ronaldo sets and his influence in and around the training ground as major factors for why Ten Hag should want to keep him at the club.
“Who in that Manchester United dressing room was there for the kids to look at and say: ‘That’s how I want my career to be. I want to play like him and live like him’? No one. And who is there now? No one.
Souness goes onto praise Ronaldo’s attitude and feels every player at the club should aspire to the same levels as the five time Ballon d’Or winner.
“What an attitude. You are talking about the ultimate pro. Everybody in that dressing room, young and old, can look at him and learn something.
Souness also believes that should United manage to keep hold of Ronaldo, they will be in a healthier position than last year and feels a third or fourth place finish isn’t out of their reach.
“United have a better group of players than their sixth-place finish showed last year. I can see them finishing third or fourth.”
A fourth place finish is certainly the target for Ten Hag in his first campaign, a trophy on the side would represent a fantastic start for the United boss as he begins to plot United’s way back to the top.
Frustration in the transfer window, coupled with the Ronaldo saga and Anthony Martial’s hamstring troubles, means the mood around the club has fallen a little flat since the blistering start to pre-season.
United’s season kicks off on Sunday against Brighton and Ten Hag will be desperate to begin his new reign with a home win.
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