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Cristiano Ronaldo can hand Erik ten Hag a long-term Manchester United boost

Cristiano Ronaldo can hand Erik ten Hag a long-term Manchester United boost

Erik ten Hag will be aware that his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo will have an overarching impact on his grip on the Manchester United squad.

At times, especially towards the end of the season, the Portugal captain has looked uninterested and forlorn amid a fractured dressing room. While United fans may hope that this will change, his superstar status will not.

His influence on the dressing room is undeniable and it could be argued that his behaviour dictates the mood within the United camp. Managing Ronaldo will be key.

READ MORE:Erik ten Hag reveals what he wants to do after managing Manchester United

Getting him believing in his philosophy will have a huge impact on his debut season. And first impressions have seemingly gone down well with Ronaldo.

“We are all happy and excited [with ten Hag’s arrival], not only as players, but as fans as well. We have to believe that next year we can win titles,” he told club media on Friday.

And ten Hag very much wants Ronaldo to be a part of his side. Speaking to De Telegraaf, he said: “I want to keep Cristiano at Man United, of course.

“He has been very important for this club. Ronaldo is a giant, because of everything he has shown so far and because of how ambitious he is.”

With the two on the same page, the scene already looks brighter for United, particularly when compared to the dim cloud surrounding Ralf Rangnick and the current team. Earlier in the season, Ronaldo had been keen to help teammates on the pitch.

He said: “I look to myself and I say ‘Cristiano, what can you do better to improve your level to help the team? Yes, I can improve other things’.

“Maybe to sprint for 90 minutes, if something happens, to help your teammate if they are suffering or are tired, the small details during the game, to be smart, to be intelligent.” This desire has seemed to dwindle since that interview in January.

But if ten Hag can get Ronaldo on song again after a difficult year, this ethos is sure to return and will benefit United no end – as looked the case shortly after his August arrival. Ten Hag’s man management of Ronaldo is paramount if he is to get players on side in his first season – and it already looks promising.

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