Manchester United had a choice to make. Cristiano Ronaldo’s controversial, and unauthorised, interview with Piers Morgan meant the Old Trafford club had to side with either their most recognisable, highest-paid player or their manager and ultimately they opted for the latter. Erik Ten Hag now has control.

In fact, Ronaldo’s hasty departure means Ten Hag has more power than any other Manchester United manager since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. United managers have been undermined by their own employers before when a difficult decision on a player was required, but Ten Hag is now clearly the one calling the shots.

The Ronaldo situation had become untenable. Any rational observer could see the 37-year-old had to be pushed out the door after publicly compromising the authority of his own manager, but Manchester United haven’t always made rational decisions of late. Indeed, the decision to re-sign Ronaldo in the first place was a rash one.

Ten Hag’s system requires a centre forward who can at least apply some pressure from the front, but Ronaldo’s fading physicality meant he was unable to do this. What’s more, the Portuguese forward appears to have lost some of the finishing instinct that made him one of the greatest goal-scorers of all-time. When Ronaldo had chances for United this season, he missed them more often than not.