Cristiano Ronaldo named Premier League’s Player of the Month for April
While April may have been tough for Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo’s performances have at least been recognised.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for the second time this season after an impressive April on an individual level.
United’s woes this season have been well-documented, with April an especially tough month that saw them win just once in six Premier League outings.
It would have undoubtedly been an even worse spell were it not for Ronaldo’s five goals across four appearances, with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner netting United’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on April 28 and a hat-trick to just about see off Norwich City 3-2 12 days earlier. His other goal came in a 3-1 reverse at Arsenal.
No one in the Premier League managed more non-penalty goals (five) than Ronaldo across April – those strikes came from a modest 1.8 expected goals (xG), highlighting just how clinical the 37-year-old was.
A debate around Ronaldo’s suitability to United has rumbled for much of the season, with some of the opinion his apparent lack of impact both off the ball and in build-up play makes him a luxury that an underachieving side cannot afford to accommodate.
Ten Hag can use Ronaldo to good effect
However, his performances in April altered the narrative slightly, particularly following United’s confirmation of Erik ten Hag as their next permanent manager on April 21.
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick suggested Ronaldo’s recent performances have shown he can be an asset for Ten Hag, with rumours regarding a potential end-of-season departure cooling.
The Player of the Month award is another vindication of Ronaldo’s usefulness to United, as he joins Steven Gerrard on six such gongs over the course of his career – only Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane have claimed more.