Jaap Stam has advised Manchester United to part ways with Cristiano Ronaldo if the player wants to leave this summer, as he feels such a decision will be for the "greater good of the club". Earlier in the transfer window, Ronaldo informed the Red Devils that he wanted to leave, but he has not explained his position to supporters in the weeks that have followed.
The Portuguese has stated that answers are on the way, but there remains a chance that he will head through the exits at Old Trafford before another deadline passes.
Stam urges Manchester United to release Cristiano Ronaldo
The former United defender opined that Ronaldo's reluctance to stay at the club could have an impact on the atmosphere inside the dressing room.
"Everybody knows Ronaldo and what he’s been doing for United last season and in the past, so everybody is looking up to him. So if he’s in the dressing room and he really wants to leave, and he’s not himself, or he’s sitting there by himself or he’s not in a good mood, then it has an impact on the players for sure," Stam told Safe Betting Sites.
He continued, "The experience that he has, Ronaldo, the age that he has, he also knows that he has an impact on players, on the team, so I cannot believe that he’s there moping and having a bad influence on players. I still believe that a player with his quality is still working very hard, even if you want to leave, because you need to be an example for everybody at this club.
"Him saying that he wanted to play Champions League, he already knew last season that he wasn’t going to be playing Champions League with United, so I assume Ten Hag had a conversation with him before he started, and I don’t know if Ronaldo addressed it at this point, otherwise I’m thinking they could’ve made a decision earlier, before the season. I can understand that a manager wants to keep a player like this, because he’s of great value for the club and the team.
"But, if a player’s not happy at the club and he wants to leave, then you need to make a decision for the greater good and say ‘ok, maybe it’s better we part ways’ and look for somebody else.
"If he’s not happy, if he’s not performing, then sometimes it’s maybe better to make a different decision – not only for yourself, but for the team.
What advice does Stam have for Lisandro Martinez?
New Manchester United recruit Lisandro Martinez has been the subject of criticism ever since he made his debut for the club against Brighton in a 2022-23 curtain-raiser.
The Argentine has been targeted over his height, which the naysayers think could be a problem as the South American adjusts to life in the Premier League.
But Stam believes that height cannot be a hindrance for a defender to perform well as he advised Martinez to be more clever when taking to the field.
The former Dutch international defender said: "It’s not a strange one. I always said it from the start, when he went to United, I said ‘they’re probably going to be talking about his height’. It’s a common thing in the Premier League that teams are looking for centre backs that are strong and big because of the physical part of the game.
"Bringing him in, it’s a challenge for him. It’s going to be interesting how he is adapting. Already now people are criticising him, and the coach a little as well about bringing him in, because of his height.
"He’s struggling in the aerial battles. You don’t need to be very tall to be a good centre back, even in the Premier League, if you’re clever enough, then you can handle a lot of situations. But you can see with set pieces, which are becoming a very big thing in football, especially in the Premier League, you need to be able to fight in the air, and to win your aerial battles.
"You see in the games against Brentford and Brighton, if the opposition is playing long balls, they’re going to play them on him, because the majority of times he’s going to lose it. If Ten Hag is keeping Martinez on the pitch, they need to find a solution to handle that. Otherwise, it’s going to happen over and over again."