Erik ten Hag picks three players that can replace Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has named three players that can replace Cristiano Ronaldo following the Portugal legend’s departure.

Their 2-1 win over Fulham on November 13 – their most recent league fixture – came just hours before an explosive Ronaldo interview with Piers Morgan was released.

Just over two weeks later, whilst on World Cup duty, Ronaldo’s departure from United was confirmed by the club.

They have since been linked with numerous players to replace him, including fellow Portugal stars Joao Felix and Goncalo Ramos, and PSV’s Cody Gakpo.

But Gakpo agreed a deal with Liverpool on Monday evening, and reports from the Daily Mail that United will likely only pursue loans in January has further dampened the mood of fans.

However, Ten Hag has now named three current United players that could step up to Ronaldo’s mantle.

Ten Hag names potential Ronaldo Man Utd replacements

Speaking prior to United’s clash against Forest, Ten Hag spoke of United’s depth in forward areas (quotes via Manchester Evening News): “Two things. First, that goals can also come out of our own club.

“See [Alejandro] Garnacho, see [Anthony] Elanga, see [Facundo] Pellistri, who made a good impression on the World Cup and last week in the [friendly] game against Everton, and in training. So that is first.

“But yes, we are aware we have lost a striker, so I think we have to get a striker in. But it has to be the right one, and the right one needs to bring the quality into the team and not just add to the squad, because that gives you only problems.”

Garnacho has impressed during his first-team appearances this season, working his way into regular Premier League contention through his Europa League performances.

Elanga, meanwhile, has been ever-present in United’s matchday squad this term, but is yet to get off the mark with a goal in 14 appearances in all competitions. He scored three goals last season.

Pellistri, meanwhile, is yet to make his senior debut for the club, despite joining in 2020. He spent 18 months on loan at Alaves, including the full 2021/22 campaign. He has featured for the U23s this season, as well as on the senior squad’s bench on 13 occasions.

His agent claimed that the 21-year-old’s departure was ‘imminent’ in November, but the winger, who started two games for Uruguay at the World Cup, could now be given his opportunity to impress by Ten Hag.

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