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Ralf Rangnick: Man Utd more more than just Cristiano Ronaldo-Bruno Fernandes partnership

Written by corres2

Ralf Rangnick has played down the importance of Cristiano Ronaldo’s partnership with Bruno Fernandes and says Manchester United must “develop as a whole team”.

Questions have been raised over whether Ronaldo and Fernandes can play effectively together at both Portugal and United, in spite of their individual abilities.

Speaking on Monday Night Football, Gary Neville described the duo as “whingebags” following United’s disappointing 1-1 draw away at Newcastle United, criticising the body language of two of Rangnick’s senior players.

Fernandes has scored five goals and made six assists in the Premier League, slightly fewer than at the same stage last term, while Ronaldo tapped in his 14th goal of the season against Burnley on Thursday.

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Gary Neville criticised Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo for negative body language once again during the 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

Rangnick insists his principal focus is on improving the chemistry and understanding of the team as a whole and not on the attacking partnership between Fernandes and Ronaldo.

“Against Burnley, we had to play without Bruno and again we did well, we played with two strikers, two wingers, two No 6s, every player in his best possible position,” he told Sky Sports News.


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“This is another thing we are trying to achieve, no matter which formation we are trying to play we have every player in his best possible position. So it is not only about the partnership between Cristiano and Bruno, it is about partnerships between other players.

“Yesterday it was about a partnership between Edinson [Cavani] and Cristiano and it worked well. Edinson was the player with the highest distance in the whole team.

“Since we will change the team and starting line-up every game it is about different partnerships and developing the whole team, and they should play with the same mindset and principles when we are in possession of the ball or when the other team is in possession.”

‘Too early to think about January transfers’

Rangnick says it is “too early” to be thinking about transfers ahead of the January window and there is enough competition for first-team places in his squad.

Anthony Martial could yet move away from Old Trafford next month despite United rejecting a loan offer from Sevilla for the forward, while speculation continues to surround Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard’s futures at the club with the pair’s contracts expiring at the end of the campaign.

But it remains to be seen whether United will add to their squad, despite them being reportedly linked with a number of targets including Paris Saint-Germain forward Mauro Icardi and Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz.

United invested heavily on trio Raphael Varane (£41m), Jadon Sancho (£73m), and Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.9m) during the previous window, but Rangnick has indicated the club may be less busy in January.

When asked about any potential transfer activity next month, Rangnick told Sky Sports News: “[It’s] too early now. The current squad is big enough, with a lot of competition in the squad.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s win against Burnley in the Premier League.

“To speak about future players coming into the club doesn’t make sense at this stage when we have to find out which player is in which position, the best possible solution for every game.

“Right now for me, it doesn’t make sense to think about future players. My full focus is on the current squad and to find for each game the best possible formation and line-up.”

Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane signed for United this summer
Image:
Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane signed for United last summer

Having become accustomed to life at Old Trafford and Carrington after one month in his interim role, Rangnick says man-management will be a key part of his position like it is for managers at other top Premier League clubs.

He added: “This is always about man management, having a good relationship with the players. But also be aware that you’re the one to take the decisions.

“Who is going to play, who will be substituted, who will be on the bench or possibly not even make it into the squad for the next game.”

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