Manchester United legend Roy Keane has claimed that Erik ten Hag’s management is largely to blame for Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the club.
Ronaldo has now left United by mutual consent after being highly critical of the club and the manager in an interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV.
The departure was ultimately not a surprise, with Ronaldo having asked to leave during the summer and seemingly not an integral part of Ten Hag’s plans.
Things boiled over against Tottenham when the forward refused to come off the bench in the closing stages of the game and then walked down the Old Trafford tunnel before it had finished.
While Keane, who has defended Ronaldo throughout the saga, suggests his former teammate leaving the club is best for all parties, he doesn’t believe that Ten Hag handled the situation well.
“I don’t think it’s been great management,” the ex-skipper said on ITV. “I think it’s been a very difficult situation but I don’t think the manager comes out of it [looking good].
“People might say he’s put a marker down – part of management is looking after the top [players]. You do have to treat top, world-class players differently. This idea that you treat everyone the same, you don’t.
“I think it’s better for everybody. The club, obviously, don’t want that dragging into the second half of the season, Ronaldo’s obviously ran out of patience. People say ‘is his reputation tarnished at Manchester United?’ Far from it.”
As 90min revealed at the time, Ten Hag was ready to sanction Ronaldo’s exit in the summer and Keane admitted that would probably have been a better time to call it quits.
“He should have probably left in the summer, but whether that’s the player’s fault or the club’s, it was never going to happen,” he added.
“The new manager was never going to play him, you cannot have Ronaldo as a suit or fringe player. It’s just not right. It’s sad but these things happen.”
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