Ronaldo was forced to come to United’s rescue yet again on Thursday night, scoring an equaliser against the run of play to earn a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. The Red Devils were dominated by the Blues at Old Trafford and only had the 37-year-old to thank for not suffering yet another Premier League defeat.
The Portuguese icon is in the midst of a stunning run of form in front of goal, with his goal against Chelsea, his eighth in his last five appearances in the league. That brings his tally in all competitions to 23, with 17 of those coming in the bread and butter of the league.
Despite his impressive scoring record, questions have been raised about Ronaldo’s future at United, particularly with the imminent arrival of manager Erik ten Hag. The forward signed a two-year deal at the start of this season, with the option to extend for a further 12 months, but there are doubts as to whether he can fit into Ten Hag’s high-pressing approach.
His presence in the current United setup is currently being emphasised on a weekly basis, with Rangnick believing he still has a big part to play in the club moving forward: “Not only the goal Cristiano scored but his whole performance, his attitude at age of 37, this is not normal to do that. If he plays like he did today he can still be a big help to this team.”
Keane was asked whether Ronaldo will stick around for the remainder of his contract with the ex-United skipper claims that if Ten Hag can’t find a place for him in the starting XI, he will likely move on.
“I think Ten Hag will have been watching tonight and will have had a sleepless night watching that team,” Keane told Sky Sports. “But I think if you’ve got a player in your group that can score that amount of goals, they have to be involved.
“Now, Ronaldo will want to play week in and week out and that will be the problem. The new manager comes in and whether he’ll be looking for another striker.
“But Ronaldo won’t be hanging around unless he’s playing week in and week out. He won’t mind being rested for the odd League Cup game or a European game if they’re already through, but we saw his disappointment going back a few months, whether it was Chelsea and then City…and the injuries started popping up.
“I think he wants to play week in and week out and that will be the problem for the manager, because he’s probably looking and going ‘I’ll probably have to rotate you in certain games’.”
With just one game remaining at Old Trafford this season, Ronaldo paid tribute to the home support in a message posted on social media moments after the full-time whistle: “Thanks for the support in Old Trafford tonight. As always, our fans were amazing in their effort to help the team.”