Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick admits Man Utd are too reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of summer attacking shake-up

Tom Gott
Rangnick wants more competition for Ronaldo
Rangnick wants more competition for Ronaldo / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Ralf Rangnick has admitted that Manchester United need to bolster their attacking depth after Cristiano Ronaldo came to their rescue yet again in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

The Red Devils were overwhelmingly outplayed for the majority of the game and deservedly fell behind to Marcos Alonso's volley early in the second half, but a moment of magic from Ronaldo almost immediately after gifted United an unlikely route back into the game.

It was Ronaldo's 17th goal of the Premier League season which, unsurprisingly, sees him sit atop United's scoring charts. Bruno Fernandes is second with nine goals, while no other forward has managed more than the five contributed by Mason Greenwood before he was suspended in January.

United plan to bolster their attack in the summer, with two forwards hopefully coming through the door at Old Trafford. Benfica's Darwin Nunez and Ajax winger Antony are two of many under consideration.

Ronaldo has scored eight of his side's last nine goals and Rangnick pointed back to a 1-0 win over West Ham in January as the last time he felt the side were not overly dependent on Ronaldo.

"We also go through the list of names that are missing since the West Ham game," Rangnick said. "We had all the offensive players on the pitch. The only offensive player we still had available on the bench was Juan Mata, he came on for the last 20 minutes.

"We have to be still fair with the players. We had quite a few other players also scoring goals, I remember my first 10 games and we had 10 different goalscorers. It is how many opportunities can we create and how many players do we have available.

"Compare our bench today with the bench that Chelsea had and the first XI they had. This is not an excuse, just an explanation.

"Right now, we very much rely on Cristiano."

Listen now to 90min's brand new podcast, Talking Transfers, with Scott Saunders & Graeme Bailey. Toby Cudworth joins the show again this week to discuss how Erik ten Hag's appointment may affect Man Utd's pursuit of Paul Mitchell. There is also chat on the futures of Jesse Lingard & David de Gea and a look at what Newcastle are planning this summer.

Rangnick did stress, however, that he does not know whether Ronaldo will be at United next season and admitted that decision will be left to both the Portugal international and incoming manager Erik ten Hag.

"Not only the goal that he scored today, his whole performance, his attitude, how often he helped in our own half, at the age of 37, a player like him, this is not normal to do that," the boss said.

"He showed that today and if he plays like he played today, he can still be a great help for this team. In the end, it is both Erik's and also Cristiano's decision what they want to do so I think it is not for me to speak about that but as I say the performance of Cristiano today was really great."