Erik ten Hag must find Cristiano Ronaldo ‘his Karim Benzema’ at Man Utd to fix problem

Cristiano Ronaldo is, again, at the heart of discussions at Manchester United after it was revealed that his agent was said to have held talks with other clubs.

The Athletic report that Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent, has spoken to Chelsea and Bayern Munich over a potential move for his client. However, it is believed that United have hit back and insisted that the 37-year-old will remain at Old Trafford.

But Mendes certainly won’t have been holding those meetings unbeknown to Ronaldo, and reports that the striker wants to see his side be more ambitious this summer and kickstart their spending spree sooner rather than later. And perhaps the best thing possible that Erik ten Hag could do to settle the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is find him his own ‘Karim Benzema’ at the Theatre of Dreams.

The pair formed an unbelievable partnership at Real Madrid that saw Ronaldo break numerous records and cement himself as one of the greatest of all time. Since his departure, Benzema has highlighted how unselfish he was during the nine years that they led the line together at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Speaking to Bobo TV, former Italy international Antonio Cassano thinks that Ronaldo has a lot to thank Benzema for. He said: “In football, there are not only titles and goals, Zidane scored few goals, but he is one of the greatest in history, Riquelme too.

“Goals are useful, titles are useful, but they are not the fundamental things. Cristiano Ronaldo has to pray in the morning and say, ‘Thank you, Benzema, that you played with me’.

Erik ten Hag will be keen to keep Cristiano Ronaldo happy at United

Erik ten Hag will be keen to keep Cristiano Ronaldo happy at United
Getty Images)

“Benzema, this year and last year, has scored 50 goals and assists this year and last year over 30 goals. Ronaldo scores and will always score, but he’s a different player; Benzema is a goalscoring centre-forward. But he’s also Zidane; he’s a 9, he’s a ten and a nine and a half.”

Since returning to United, Ronaldo has lacked a forward to work alongside and form a true connection with. He was assisted by Benzema on 47 occasions at Madrid, more than any player, and having that ‘nine and a half’ to lead the line with truly unlocked Ronaldo’s best form.

It is no secret that the Red Devils are actually in the market for a striker as Ronaldo is Ten Hag’s only option currently heading into the new campaign following the departure of Edinson Cavani. Marcus Rashford is also an option having come through the United academy as a forward, though he appears to lack the core qualities that Benzema has.

If United truly want Ronaldo to settle at the club and help them get back to where they feel that they belong, finding him a strike partner is not just an option, it’s a must. The club are thought to be interested in acquiring the services of Ajax winger Antony recently, but they are yet to be concretely linked with an out-and-out no.9 since missing out on Darwin Nunez earlier this summer – who opted to join Liverpool from Benfica.

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