Ole Gunnar Solskjaer challenges Man Utd stars to ease Cristiano Ronaldo burden

Cristiano Ronaldo has got amongst the goals early on at Manchester United – but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to see the rest of his attackers chip in to ease the burden

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praises Cristiano Ronaldo

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called on his Manchester United forwards to ease the goal burden on Cristiano Ronaldo.

Since returning to United, Ronaldo has plundered four goals in three games and is set to lead the attack against Aston Villa at Old Trafford today.

Ronaldo’s formidable form and goal threat means Solskjaer cannot start games without the 36-year-old superstar.

But the United boss has warned his other attackers – Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial – they must chip in with goals to help out Ronaldo.

Asked if Ronaldo can shoulder the burden of scoring alone, Solskjaer said: “No, of course not.

Cristiano Ronaldo has already been amongst the goals after returning to Man Utd



“Jesse has two, Mason has three, Bruno has four and Cristiano has four, which is a good return from the forwards.

“Marcus [Rashford] has yet to come back, of course, and Anthony, Jadon [Sancho], Edinson [Cavani], they will score goals.

“It has to be spread around, that’s for sure. Paul [Pogba] will score goals too. It’s been a long long time since we’ve had one main 30 or 40 goals-a-year striker.

“But if you can get that and the others can get up to that expected tally as well, then we’ve got a good chance.”

Praising the immediate impact Ronaldo has made in his second spell at United, Solskjaer said the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s relentless desire to win remains his greatest strength.

Solskjaer is keen to see Ronaldo’s team-mates get their fair share of goals



“He deserves every plaudit he gets for his physical state,” said Solskjaer.

“But what’s more impressive is when he’s achieved as much as he has, that he’s still as hungry, his mentality is still absolutely spot on.

“That’s desire from inside that he’ll keep going until his head says ‘I’ve given everything now’.

“Hopefully it will last a few years. Linford Christie was quite an age when he won his gold medal as well, so age is never a problem.

“Cristiano is still one of the quickest players in the league and I’m happy with his physical condition.

“But of course he’s back into the Premier League and it’s maybe more intense than the Spanish and Italian leagues, so we’ll have to manage his workload.

“But he’s there to score goals and create goals.”

Solskjaer also singled out goalkeeper David De Gea, for reasserting himself as United’s No.1 after losing that position to Dean Henderson last season.

“David has had a very good start to the season,” said Solskjaer “He’s focused, he’s happy with his work-rate and that’s probably the key to it – the work he’s put in on the training ground.

“David has come back with extra grit, that bit between his teeth, bright eyed and wanting to work.

“Long may it continue that he continues to perform the way he does. It’s about performing and we’re here to win games.”

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