Jeremy Souness: It would be crazy for Manchester United to give up Cristiano Ronaldo

My views on Paul Pogba at Manchester United – that he was a failure, with an untenable attitude – have been fairly strong over the past few seasons.

All direct competitors of the club will regret his departure, because he was a one-man, wrecking ball in the locker room. Virus, as Jose Mourinho once called it.

Now United are starting a new season with another player who would prefer to be elsewhere, but I will say without the slightest hesitation that they must make a huge effort to keep Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo can be very useful to the Manchester United dressing room this season

Erik ten Hag should sit with Ronaldo and bring him back to his side before the season opener

Erik ten Hag should sit with Ronaldo and bring him back to his side before the season opener

Until last season, he was there in the Manchester United dressing room for the kids to look at him and say, ‘This is how I want my career to be. I want to play like him and live like him? no one. Who is there now? no one.

Ronaldo could sit in a room with all the greats of history – Di Stefano, Pele, Messi, and anyone you care to mention – and say, “I’ve been better than any of you.” He would have a very strong argument, too. It’s not my personal choice but he can say that because of his longevity. its stability. His goals are extraordinary.

Eric ten Hag will not be happy as he left Old Trafford before the end of United’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano last weekend. But you’re dealing with someone whose ego might stifle a horse – which is absolutely true, considering what he brought to football.

He wanted to spend more of his first half on the field but with the attitude this guy has, he needs to protect himself at this point in the pre-season.

At the age of 37, he will begin to develop muscle injuries. What an attitude, though. You are talking about the ultimate professional. Anyone in the dressing room, young and old, can look at it and learn something.

Having only known the standards set by Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo was struck by the attitude of the younger players, due to his lack of respect and poor decision-making that made United decide it was a good idea to appoint a temporary manager. last november. A temporary manager was trying to sell it by January.

It’s no surprise that his agent Jorge Mendes kicked off the summer with a tour of potential buyers.

I don’t think there is the furthest chance that Ronaldo and Mendes have come off a limb and announced that he wants to leave without thinking they have something. They would do their homework first. But this did not happen.

Ronaldo is an absolutely amazing player, and it would be foolish to let him leave this summer

Ronaldo is an absolutely amazing player, and it would be foolish to let him leave this summer

Thomas Tuchel felt he would not fit into his team’s dynamic and long-term plan at Chelsea. Bayern feel the same, although Robert Lewandowski has gone to Barcelona, ​​leaving Sadio Mane as the main threat to his goal, a club that is screaming for Ronaldo’s goals. I say they cheat them more and they cheat Chelsea because they didn’t take the chance. But United can shape this to their advantage.

All the noise we’ve heard from Tin Hag – cheering voices – has been about instilling discipline and values, but he needs to be aware of the power of the modern player. It has never been greater, which is why managing has never been more difficult.

If I had been in Tin Hag, I would have liked to sit in the room with Ronaldo, look him in the eye and tell him: “Things are different here. I have a different kind of player coming in now.”

United shipped in a load of dead wood – the players just collect the salary each month and don’t add to the cause in any way.

I also don’t think Harry Maguire was anywhere near as bad as the so-called experts think.

He lacked a strong partner. Raphael Varane has arrived from Real Madrid. There is usually a very good reason why this club would be willing to sell you one of their players. Just ask Arsenal fans about Mesut Ozil.

Ten Hag is signing players he has worked with or knows before, such as Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia, with Antony and Frenkie de Jong likely to follow. Can all these players handle this pressure and expectations? Are they under surveillance? Does Tin Hag slightly misjudge the leap in quality?

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea missed a trick not to go and beat Ronaldo

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea missed a trick not to go and beat Ronaldo

Well, he buys what he knows – and he already knows their personalities. We have to wait and see. But I like what I hear. United have a better group of players than they showed in sixth place last year. I can see them finishing third or fourth. That would be progress.

When United gain momentum, they stop for a bit. When things don’t go well, the crowd is great.

You are lucky to play at United because of the way the fans are. At Liverpool, we’ve never had an easy game against them. They had warriors – Brian Robson to Martin Buchan, Norman Whiteside, Gordon McQueen and Joe Jordan. They did not roll over to anyone.

This is the perspective that Ronaldo can instill in the current generation – with the simple act of being one of the number one players at Carrington every morning and the other off the training pitch after a session.

I’m sure he doesn’t enjoy the idea of ​​a season in the Europa League, when the Champions League has always been his stage, but there would be a great carousel if he could reclaim the success that was once such a big part of.

“The football genius who has returned to bring one of the world’s greatest clubs out of the wild.” This is some epitaph.

Sparky is right. I was wrong to join the training!

It is good to see Mark Hughes back in the game as a coach at Bradford City.

For me, Mark will always be the player who helped Blackburn Rovers win the 2002 League Cup final against Tottenham.

I frowned when he described in an interview in this sports section last week how the hell it annoyed him when I, as manager, joined the training sessions at Blackburn. I think Mark was right to feel that way. He was a bit selfish and sometimes counterproductive.

I had a confrontation with Dwight Yorke after he got put on his butt while training one day at Blackburn. I was very determined not to let Dwight fall behind his standards after he left Manchester United for us.

Mark misses training but I love football a lot. If I could do that, I’d still play today.

Mark Hughes was right to invite managers to take part in training sessions

Mark Hughes was right to invite managers to take part in training sessions

Klopp was more difficult than Pep…

Jurgen Klopp against Pep Guardiola will be the subject of many arguments here in the coming weeks. This season tests their judgment on the attackers: Erling Haaland – Darwin Nunez.

What I would say this season is that Jürgen has had a more difficult inheritance and a more difficult job than the two.

He had to come in and make big decisions and earn his streaks.

Pep and his staff did an amazing job with their hiring. But Pep joined a club that won the title twice in five years under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini. Jurgen joins someone who hasn’t won the title for 25 years. Pep’s net spending was £530 million. The price of Jurgen was £260 million.

Pep could afford to leave new England international Calvin Phillips on the bench in the Community Shield last Sunday. But the relatively modest summer purchase of Jurgen – with Nunez and Calvin Ramsey as cover at right-back and Fabio Carvalho from Fulham – looks like a throwback to Bob Paisley who modified 14-man squads during his time at Anfield.

With Paisley it was evolution, not revolution, and we’ve made a series of title winners.

Jurgen Klopp's (right) job at Liverpool was more difficult than Pep Guardiola's (left) at Manchester City.

Jurgen Klopp’s (right) job at Liverpool was more difficult than Pep Guardiola’s (left) at Manchester City.