Christian Eriksen is saddened by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United but insists fans will soon forget what it was like to have a striker at the club.
Ronaldo’s second spell at Old Trafford came to an end last month when his contract was terminated by mutual agreement after criticizing the club and manager Erik ten Hag in an interview.
Since then, United have not looked back, beating Burnley 2-0 in the EFL Cup Round of 16 and Nottingham Forest 3-0 in the Premier League when they returned to action.
While Eriksen is grateful to have played alongside Ronaldo this season, the Danish international is pleased that he and his teammates can now focus solely on football.
“Firstly, we are sorry that Ronaldo is not involved in this. His legacy and his name at any club is special and I am very pleased to play with him in my career,” said Eriksen.
“Football continues. You feel like in the next game people will forget how it used to be and now we’re really focused on getting him out of here.
“The atmosphere is good. We have a lot of people coming back from the World Cup, the last guys are coming back, and everyone is coming together.”
Ronaldo, who only started 10 of United’s 21 matches prior to his departure, is reportedly close to joining Saudi club Al Nasr on a huge money deal.
United are looking for a replacement in the January window despite the form of Marcus Rashford, who has scored 10 goals in 21 games this season.
That’s twice as many as any other United player. Anthony Martial is next in scoring with five goals and Eriksen is hopeful that the England international can continue his successful streak.
“He played very well [against Forest]. Fortunately, I have not yet been on the field where he has not yet played badly, ”said Eriksen.
“I let him continue it. He looks sharp and confident and you can feel it as he walks forward.
“You feel it in the stadium and you feel it with him and it’s nice and I hope he continues like that. You can see that he is back. [from the World Cup] pretty confident.
“I haven’t seen that much [England] games of course. You guys have seen more but he came back in good form and thankfully he carried that over to United.
After a comfortable win over Forest on Tuesday, United have kept four consecutive clean sheets at Old Trafford in the league for the first time since June 2020.
United are behind the top four with a game in hand, a far cry from the first two weeks of the season when they lost to Brighton & Hove Albion and then to Brentford.
“We’re in a good place,” Eriksen added. “The beginning of the season is very different from the current one. Football is different from the beginning.
“In some games it was a bit random, but I think we picked up momentum after that and have been developing ever since.
“You feel like in the group you feel like the system is working, what you have to believe in, and I think we’re doing it.”