Man United: Cristiano Ronaldo does NOT fit into Erik ten Hag’s style of play, claims Darren Bent

‘You can’t play him… he’s 37’: Cristiano Ronaldo does NOT fit into Erik ten Hag’s style of play, claims Darren Bent – after Man United’s high-energy pressing saw them beat Liverpool on Monday with Ronaldo only a late sub

  • Darren Bent questioned Cristiano Ronaldo’s suitability for Manchester United 
  • Erik ten Hag’s side beat Liverpool 2-1 on Monday, with Ronaldo just a late sub 
  • And former England striker Bent said Ronaldo is not useful for Ten Hag’s style
  • A mobile, energetic, high-pressing United frontline did the damage vs Liverpool
  • And 37-year-old Portuguese star Ronaldo cannot press as effectively as others

Darren Bent has insisted Cristiano Ronaldo does not fit into Erik ten Hag’s style of play at Manchester United. 

After Ronaldo played 90 minutes in a 4-0 loss against Brentford, the Portuguese star was dropped as United delivered the first win of Ten Hag’s era with a 2-1 win against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Monday which saw Ronaldo come on in the 86th minute.

And Bent, speaking on Talksport, questioned the 37-year-old veteran’s suitability for the Dutchman’s high-energy, high-octane, intense pressing system.

Darren Bent has insisted veteran forward Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured), 37, does not fit into manager Erik ten Hag’s style of play at Manchester United due to his lack of pressing ability

He said: ‘There were notable standout performers, the two centre halves defended well, the front three. And I get it – a lot of people say “How can you not play Ronaldo in this team?”.

‘I think if (Erik) ten Hag wants to play that high-energy, high-pressing, all-guns-blazing (style), unfortunately you can’t play Ronaldo. That’s no slight on Ronaldo, you’re talking about one of the greatest players you’ve ever seen.

‘But in that system… he’s 37 years old. Look at the energy of (Anthony) Elanga, (Marcus) Rashford. That’s when Rashford is at his best. Stop trying to complicate it by dropping off and trying to show everyone you’re a good player, by linking play…

The 37-year-old came on in the 86th minute of United's 2-1 win against Liverpool on Monday

The 37-year-old came on in the 86th minute of United’s 2-1 win against Liverpool on Monday

And former England striker Bent questioned Ronaldo's suitability for the Red Devils' system

And former England striker Bent questioned Ronaldo’s suitability for the Red Devils’ system

‘No. His best attribute is his pace. When he starts running in behind regularly, he gives defenders nightmares. For his goal (against Liverpool), fantastic finish, composure, that’s where he was at his best.’ 

Against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, Ten Hag began with a mobile front three of Anthony Elanga and Jadon Sancho on the wings behind Marcus Rashford, with Elanga making way at half-time for striker Anthony Martial, with Rashford switching to the left. 

England stars Sancho and Rashford scored the goals and United held on after Mohamed Salah’s late strike, leading some to question wantaway forward Ronaldo’s future at the club. 



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