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Manchester United legendary striker Teddy Sheringham has provided his thoughts on Cristiano Ronaldo, saying he can still be a help to the team, however he “doesn't have the mobility” that he used to.
He was an incredible striker during his hay-day, however when the name “Sheringham” is mentioned, the same Clive Tyldesley scream of said name as he poked the ball past Oliver Kahn in Barcelona will always be the most resounding echo playing in Manchester United fans’ heads whenever his name is seen or read.
Scoring a total of 46 goals across the four seasons he was at the club after joining from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £3.5 million, he was certainly a good investment for Sir Alex Ferguson.
In response, Sheringham detailed, “A superstar like Ronaldo will demand to play. Ronaldo has to understand his own body as well and appreciate that he's not 28 anymore.
“He's not at the pinnacle of his career. It's a tough one because Manchester United fans want to see him out there because he can still produce moments of absolute brilliance.”
Sheringham goes on to explain that in order for Ten Hag to work out how to fit Ronaldo into his side, he needs to first note down which qualities Ronaldo has and how he can be a benefit to the side.
“Is he going to be perfect for the way ten Hag wants to play? ten Hag needs to work that out. He needs to think if Ronaldo will be a help or a hindrance.”
Despite these words, Sheringham seems confident that Ronaldo can still have a positive impact on the first team, although the former striker claims finding a position for him to play within Ten Hag’s system might be a struggle.
“I think he’ll be a help because he's a world class player,” Sheringham explains, “but he doesn't have the mobility as much as he used to. I still couldn't tell you exactly what type of player Ronaldo is.
“He’s not a right winger anymore. He's not a number 10. He's not a centre forward. It’s hard to find the right balance with him.”
Despite having confidence in Ronaldo, the 1999 Champions League winner believes the club still need to sign a new striker this summer.
After losing Edinson Cavani due to a contract expiration, Mason Greenwood likely to never play for the club again and Anthony Martial reportedly being one of four players who are “happy to leave” the club, Erik ten Hag’s current striker options are Crisitiano Ronaldo, Anthony Elanga and Marcus Rashford – with the latter two both preferring to play out wide.
“United need reinforcements across the pitch,” declared Sheringham. “In particular centre-midfield, centre-forward and on the wings. We're looking at five or six top players needing to come in.”
Erik ten Hag’s reported No.1 priority in the current transfer window is Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong. Ten Hag wants to build his side around the young Dutch midfielder, and will assess other options in the window once that transfer is over the line.
🗞️ Erik ten Hag does have other targets, but he only wants those deals signed off once Frenkie de Jong is confirmed. He doesn’t want to find that #mufc have signed two or three players and then say that they don’t have enough money to meet Barcelona's valuation. [@draper_rob] https://t.co/3Yy7lOSfIZ— Utd District (@UtdDistrict) June 18, 2022
The club are set to start their pre-season tour on 12 July against Liverpool in Bangkok. After this fixture, they will play Melbourne Victory, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace in Australia.
Once these fixtures are completed, the squad will fly back to Europe to play two Spanish sides in two days – first against Atletico Madrid in Oslo on 30 July, and next Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on 31 July; just one week before the Premier League season kicks off for Manchester United, who play against Brighton & Hove Albion in Manchester on the opening weekend of the league season.
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