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Jaap Stam Exclusive: I Hope Ronaldo Stays But Looks Unlikely

Jaap Stam Exclusive: I Hope Ronaldo Stays But Looks Unlikely

Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam hopes that Cristiano Ronaldo will remain a Red Devil – but does not expect the Portugal captain to stay at Old Trafford. Ronaldo was United’s top scorer in all competitions last season, netting 24 times, but they slumped to a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League and failed to win any silverware. The club’s absence from next season’s Champions League has reportedly prompted Ronaldo to request a move away — much to the disappointment of Stam, who had been eagerly anticipating the superstar forward’s link-up with new manager Erik ten Hag.


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Ronaldo Staying Important For United

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “You don't want to have too much confusion within the squad straightaway, especially when you're starting as a new manager. 

“You're working with one of the best players in the world [in Ronaldo]. He's been doing very well, last season scoring a lot of goals. 

“I was hoping that Ronaldo was going to stay because I think he could be very important for the club. 

“I think Ronaldo is still one of the best players at United. Even when he's not scoring, he's always making the opposition aware of him and they always need to pay him a lot of attention, which creates opportunities and space for other players.

“I assume that Ten Hag spoke with him about the new season. I don't know exactly what happened, but it looks like Ronaldo wants to make a move and play somewhere else next season, which I think is a shame.”

Jaap Stam Exclusive: United Need More Recruits

Jaap Stam Exclusive: United Need More Recruits

Quick Resolution Required

As much as Stam would like Ronaldo to stay at United, he concedes that the player’s desire to move on makes it difficult to retain the 37-year-old – and feels a quick resolution would benefit the club.

“If the player has said that he wants to leave, although it's very tough for the manager and for the club and especially for the fans, then the situation doesn't need to drag on that long,” he explained.

“United need to make a decision as a club and find a way to deal with his departure. 

“The manager needs to build his squad and understand who he will be working with. 

“United don’t want to be in a situation where they have been using other players up front, and those players that have been performing are all of a sudden dropped because Ronaldo didn't get his move and he needs to play.

“You then have a situation where a player that has been agitating for a move all summer, who hasn’t featured in pre-season or trained starting games [wants to play], and that will create problems in the United squad. 

“Eventually you need to make a decision. I can understand that without having a new striker come in, that United won’t want to lose Ronaldo, because he can still still be a very important player for the team.

“And if United can’t replace him, then it's going to be very difficult to get those goals into the team, because Ronaldo can still make the difference. 

“The issue is that Ronaldo knows how important he is to the club and as a senior player, he needs to be honest with how he sees things and what he wants to do – but United need to make a decision on this quickly.

“I think it’s a shame that he wants to go because I would have loved to have seen him at United with ten Hag this season, but I don’t think that will happen.”

 

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