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Maurizio Sarri offers key insight into Ronaldo’s goal problems

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CR7 scored 37 goals in 46 games under Sarri during the Italian’s spell in charge of Juventus in the 2019/20 season.

Cristiano Ronaldo is better suited to playing out in wider positions than as a central striker, according to Maurizio Sarri.

The Portuguese ace has played exclusively as a central striker at Manchester United this season, after rejoining the club from Juventus last summer. He has scored 15 goals in 30 games across all competitions.

But the goals have dried up for Ronaldo since Ralf Rangnick’s appointment as interim manager in December. In 14 games under the German, CR7 has found the back of the net three times in central attack.

‘Ronaldo scored 35-40 goals per season out wide’

Sarri, who coached Ronaldo at Juventus in 2019/20, addressed the matter at the weekend. The Italian revealed how CR7 preferred to play out wide in Turin during their time together, rather than the position he plays in at United.

“Cristiano scored more Serie A goals in his season with me than any other,” the now-Lazio boss told Sky Sports Italia.

“He was prepared to play center-forward in a few games when we had an emergency situation, but he didn’t much like the idea of doing it regularly.

“In those situations, you end up challenging the certainties that the player has. Ronaldo scored 35-40 goals per season by starting from that wider position. So for him, it was an almost absurd request. That is understandable for the way he plays.”

What were Ronaldo’s stats under Sarri?

In 46 appearances across all competitions, Ronaldo scored a brilliant 37 goals under Sarri on route to a Serie A title.

The 37-year-old bagged 15 goals in 18 games as a center-forward during Sarri’s spell and 22 goals in 28 matches as a left-winger.

Ronaldo will hope to get back on the scoresheet on Saturday when Manchester United take on top-four rivals Tottenham in the Premier League. Bet365 is favoring a home win at odds of 2.05 at the time of writing.