harry redknapp

Harry Redknapp has warned of ‘a shortage of good players’ at Manchester United as Erik ten Hag prepares for his first season in charge of the club.

United finished sixth in the Premier League last season after losing 12 games, and have since seen Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata leave the club.

They have bought in the exciting Tyrell Malacia at full back, Christian Eriksen in midfield and are expected to sign Ajax centre back Lisandro Martinez, but some fans may be disappointed after missing out on players such as Darwin Nunes this summer.

Speaking to the Mirror, Redknapp said United had: ‘A shortage of good players. You look at the team, it’s very ordinary. The left-back [Luke] Shaw is a good player but couldn’t get him fit last year. They just look to me like they’re all over the place.

‘They have a lack of quality in the midfield, missing that player who can really make them play. Without Ronaldo’s goals I don’t know where they would have finished. Recruitment is going to be the key, they need to get going.’

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 18 Premier League goals last season. The only other player to reach double figures at Old Trafford was Bruno Fernandes.

There have been rumours about the 37-year-old striker moving to a club that has secured Champions League football for next season, as Lionel Messi sits close behind his goal record in the competition.

Losing Ronaldo may not be the worst thing for ten Hag and United, though, as Redknapp explains: ‘Some managers don’t want big superstars. They’re much happier managing a team without the egos and Ronaldo is one of the biggest in world football.

‘Maybe he [Ten Hag] feels more comfortable without him as it’s not like he’s come from a big background. He’s come from Ajax in Holland, not really yet managed at the top level.

‘Now suddenly he’s going to be working with one one of the greatest ever players. Maybe he might feel I’m better off without him. He may feel ‘I can come in, get my message across, say what I want and work how I want to press. He [Ronaldo] may not fit into that.’

The former Tottenham manager continued: ‘Sometimes without being seen as the one that says ‘I want him to go’, behind the scenes he might be thinking “I hope he does go, it may be better for me and the club”. Of course you can’t always say what you think as the fans will not be happy with him.

‘It’s a tough situation so he will have to wait and see, but if Ronaldo does want to go you can be sure that he will.

‘At his age and at this stage where are you going to go that’s better than Man Utd? Playing at Old Trafford every other week, I can’t see where he’d go for Champions League football. He won’t go anywhere else in England. So what’s left? Going back to Italy or Real Madrid, I can’t see him at PSG. I think he may stay.’

Ronaldo had been linked with Chelsea and an unnamed Saudi Arabian club, but both options appear to have closed.


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