Former Manchester United forward and one-time teammate of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, feels that the Premier League side should let the Portuguese forward go. 

“I think United should let Cristiano Ronaldo go. It’s not that Ronaldo can’t play in a Ten Hag team. He can play in any team”, Rooney wrote in a column for the Times. The 36-year-old now manages Major League Soccer side DC United, and expressed his views on why leaving Ronaldo would help the Reds build a successful team for the future under former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag

“Ronny will always score you goals. But my personal view is that United aren’t ready to challenge for the title now, so the aim has to be to build a team that can win the league in the next three to four years, and you have to plan for that”, Rooney explained. 

The talismanic scorer netted 24 goals in all appearances in United’s last season, becoming one of the few good things in an otherwise lacklustre performance. However, United only managed a sixth-place finish and will not be playing in the Champions League this season. 

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Ronaldo, the 37-year-old, who came back to United after time at Real Madrid and Juventus, is reportedly unhappy with the current condition and wants to move to get a chance to compete in European football’s biggest tournament. However, he’s thus far been unsuccessful in attracting attention from top-flight clubs, facing rejections from the likes of Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich

Meanwhile, the Dutch coach has maintained that he’s glad to have a “top striker” like Ronaldo on the team and is looking forward to working with him. 

Rooney, like every United fan, is hoping that ten Hag will be able to put his personal stamp on United’s playing style, so a distinctive pattern arises, compared to the scattered approach last season. 

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“I couldn’t work out what they were trying to do in terms of game plan, or see any patterns of play”, Rooney said, adding, “I think one of the big things you’ll see from Ten Hag is him really trying to put his stamp on the playing identity.” 

United kick off their Premier League season with a match at home against Brighton & Hove Albion, and with French forward Anthony Martial out of action, CR7 could be making a start.