Five winners and 1 loser at Manchester United from Cristiano Ronaldo's confirmed departure

Cristiano Ronaldo‘s departure from Manchester United has been confirmed.

This is the only option United had after his explosive interview in which he criticised manager Erik ten Hag.

The decision comes as a relief, that this is not dragging out any longer. Now we look forward.

As part of looking ahead, let’s take a look at five winners from Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from the club…

Erik ten Hag

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has won his power struggle. While he said all the right things publicly, he frequently looked irritated at having to answer questions about Ronaldo in press conferences.

Ronaldo was a huge distraction to the team, one which Ten Hag did not need. Ronaldo even admitted he lacked motivation.

After his comments about lacking respect for the manager, there was no way back. If United had allowed this to carry on, it would have undermined Ten Hag massively.

The manager can now continue to build his team without the distraction Ronaldo brings. This is a huge win for him.

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Anthony Martial

Manchester United’s number nine has a real chance to re-establish himself as the club’s top striker. While Ronaldo was not in his path, he was a competitor, who Ten Hag had felt obliged to give minutes to.

Ronaldo’s arrival shunted Martial out the door last season on loan to Sevilla. It looked like his career at the club could be over at that point.

Instead Martial has managed to outlast him, and could have a big future at the club still. Now he has to make the most of this fresh chance.

Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes is a better player without Cristiano Ronaldo – no matter what happens at the World Cup. He has shown this under three Manchester United managers.

Ronaldo’s preference to drop deep often got in Ronaldo’s way, and he also unsettled Fernandes’ set piece duties.

The last time Fernandes provided an assist for Ronaldo for United was in early November 2021. Their partnership simply hasn’t clicked.

This season Fernandes’ best games have come without Ronaldo on the pitch. This is no coincidence.

Marcus Rashford

Ronaldo’s departure creates further opportunities for Marcus Rashford in attack. In 12 months of playing together, the pair rarely looked like gelling.

Rashford has been used as a striker by Erik ten Hag at times, and like Martial, less competition in attack helps out the England forward.

Not having Ronaldo in the side allows Ten Hag to focus his style of football towards a more dynamic, fast-paced attack, which will suit Rashford.

Manchester United fans

Manchester United supporters win too. Ronaldo’s return brought huge excitement to the club, and those memories will remain. Ronaldo will always be remembered fondly.

But this could not continue. Ronaldo was pulling in a different direction to Manchester United this season, and his drama was tiresome.

The way the excitement of the last minute winner against Fulham was ruined by Ronaldo was symptomatic of the shadow he was casting over the club.

Erik ten Hag is putting together an exciting side, and supporters are getting behind it. If Ronaldo stayed it simply would have sown division, and risked the club’s future crashing off course.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The loser: The Glazers

This is an embarrassment for the Glazers, who hoped Ronaldo would give the team the silverware winning impact that Tom Brady brought to their NFL team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The move was a strategic mistake from the owners, who aimed for a quick fix, hoping it would change their recent record of failure in charge of the club.

Instead this has backfired. Ronaldo’s return ends with no silverware, and the club having to face the embarrassment of cancelling his contract before it even expired.

Now it has emerged they are preparing to sell a stake in United, or even the club as a whole, the club have confirmed.

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