We might not know how will Manchester United look once the Premier League season starts and how far they will be able to go, but on thing is clear – during the pre-season, Erik ten Hag’s team is showing some really good form.
After beating Liverpool 4-0 in the pre-season opener and then dispatching Melbourne Victory with a 4-1 win, now the Red Devils have managed to put in another really good performance in Australia. This time, Man United defeated Crystal Palace 3-1.
Man United’s attacking trident of Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford all starred in this win with a goal from each. Martial’s fine strike was his third goal in third consecutive match during pre-season, raising further questions whether this could be a start of a much improved campaign for the Frenchman. In fact, Martial was also involved in the move which led to Sancho’s goal as well, sealing the win against Palace.
United will need all three of these players to be prolific next season, which they have been far from. Even more reasons for that are occuring in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo and his future at the club. If Ten Hag manages to get the best out of all three of them, things will be much easier for everyone in and around the club.
Apart from the attacking trio having a great day at the office, another name worth mentioning after the Palace win is Donny van de Beek. Ever since it became clear Ten Hag was coming to Man United, talks about Van de Beek’s future resurfaced. Now he did well against Palace and recorded an assist for Marcus Rashford’s goal. Van de Beek brought clear improvements in United’s midfield in second half, showing much more than Scott McTominay had in the first 45 minutes. This is all still far from what United need to get from Van de Beek, but could be a positive start.
Cristiano Ronaldo Will (Probably) Stay At Man United
And apart from the friendly win, we also need to talk about Cristiano Ronaldo. The time is passing by and the Portuguese superstar is still far from the first-team squad and their preparations for the new season. Ronaldo is still eager to make a move away from Old Trafford and find himself a club where he would play in the Champions League. But now, after the latest talks and links with a move to Atletico Madrid, things are becoming more and more obvious – Ronaldo will be staying in Manchester. Fabrizio Romano reported that the links are not really true, as Atletico bosses only spoke to Jorge Mendes, a super-agent who has plenty of other players under his wing as well. Atletico are another club which was linked with possibly signing Ronaldo which will clearly not do it – as well as Chelsea, Bayern Munich, PSG, Real Madrid and others. It is now becoming obvious – Ronaldo will have nowhere to go this summer. He is a too expensive of a solution for a 37-year-old who needs the entire team to work for him.