Rio Ferdinand has recalled a moment when Cristiano Ronaldo was reduced to tears at Manchester United to display what Rasmus Hojlund needs to add to his game.
However, initially, Ronaldo was often criticised for his trickery and perceived selfishness. And once that was honed by the winger, under Sir Alex Ferguson, he hit a different level.
Arguably, United have too many wingers with similar traits to the young, raw version of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. They aren’t always looking to provide their teammates and that’s certainly impacted new man Rasmus Hojlund.
The 20-year-old is without a Premier League goal so far in his United career, however, he has also not had a chance created for him in the league for 160 minutes. The likes of Marcus Rashford and Antony do not often put the crosses into the box for him.
Rio Ferdinand recently explained that the Danish international must develop the ability to demand these kinds of passes from his teammates.
The former United defender has since recalled a situation between Ronaldo and Ruud van Nistelrooy where the Netherlands forward showed that in the perfect sense.
“Ruud van Nistelrooy more or less had Cristiano Ronaldo in tears one day because he was doing too much on the ball and wasn’t crossing it,” Ferdinand explained on Five’s YouTube channel.
“He said, [to Ronaldo] ‘How can I make my runs when I don’t know when you’re going to cross the ball.’
“That’s how Hojlund must feel right now with the wide players he’s playing with. So the difference is Ruud was the main guy, main No.9, main goal getter.
“So he had the gravitas to pull up young guys and say, ‘put it in the box’ and he said a lot more than that by the way!”
Hojlund does have three goals in the Champions League so far. His second strike against Galatasaray showed that he does have the ability to create his own chances with his pace, power and delicacy.
Yet, his age and inexperience mean that won’t be able to be replicated consistently, at least for now, and that means he needs the service from his teammates.
He has been replaced numerous times in games lately and looked frustrated in moments.
“Hojlund’s feet aren’t under the table yet,” added Ferdinand.
“But he needs to [communicate with teammates] because there’s too many times I’ve seen him make good runs and the ball isn’t coming. That’s why he’s frustrated coming off.”
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