Harry Redknapp says Man Utd ‘all over the place’ and claims Ten Hag could have private Ronaldo plan

Erik ten Hag, Man Utd manager, during a training session with former club Ajax

Harry Redknapp has slammed Manchester United, claiming they are not in a good shape as it stands ahead of the new Premier League season.

The Red Devils head into the 2022/23 campaign off the back of a dismal showing last term. They finished sixth with their worst points total in their esteemed Premier League history.

United also conceded their highest number of goals in a single campaign since the top-flight’s reformation.

As a result, new manager Erik ten Hag has a lot of work to do to get Man Utd back on track. His starting point is pre-season and the summer transfer window, but he has had a mixed journey so far.

Two solid wins over Liverpool and Melbourne Victory have shown early signs of progression. However, frustration has emerged with incoming Lisandro Martinez only their second signing. Indeed, Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is the major deal that has so far passed them by.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, former Premier League manager Redknapp slammed United’s current state.

“A shortage of good players. You look at the team, it’s very ordinary,” the pundit said. “The left-back Shaw is a good player but couldn’t get him fit last year. They just look to me like they’re all over the place.

“They have a lack of quality in the midfield, missing that player who can really make them play.

“Without [Cristiano] Ronaldo’s goals I don’t know where they would have finished. Recruitment is going to be the key, they need to get going.”

Amid the frustration over the lack of new signings compared to their rivals, Ronaldo’s future is overshadowing proceedings.

Redknapp tips Man Utd, Ronaldo plan

The 37-year-old wants to leave Old Trafford to return to the Champions League. Ten Hag insisted earlier this week, though, that the Portugal star remains a vital part of his plans.

But he has not travelled with the squad on pre-season ahead of the season starting on August 6. Redknapp added that he thinks Ten Hag will secretly want last season’s 24-goal star gone.

“Sometimes without being seen as the one that says ‘I want him to go’, behind the scenes he might be thinking ‘I hope he does go, it may be better for me and the club’,” Redknapp said.

“Of course you can’t always say what you think as the fans will not be happy with him.

“It’s a tough situation so he will have to wait and see, but if Ronaldo does want to go you can be sure that he will.”

Redknapp claimed that former Ajax manager Ten Hag, who has “not really yet managed at the top level”, may struggle to handle “one of the biggest” personalities in football.

But Redknapp concluded that there is nowhere feasible for Ronaldo to go this summer.

United must shift Ronaldo

The fact that Ronaldo is not part of the United pre-season camp while the rest of the squad are reacting well to Ten Hag’s early advice could well be a problem.

In his absence, Anthony Martial has impressed with two goals in two games. Marcus Rashford also got on the scoresheet against Melbourne Victory.

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Ronaldo, though, will likely demand regular minutes if and when he does return to the squad.

The longer his absence continues and the more other attackers gel with Ten Hag, the more a potential problem brews for the club.