Christian Eriksen is sad to see Cristiano Ronaldo leave Manchester United but insists supporters will soon forget what it was like having the forward at the club.
Ronaldo’s second spell at Old Trafford came to an end last month when his contract was mutually terminated after criticising the club and manager Erik ten Hag in an interview.
United have not looked back since, having defeated Burnley 2-0 in the last 16 of the EFL Cup and Nottingham Forest 3-0 in the Premier League on their return to action.
While Eriksen is grateful to have played alongside Ronaldo this season, the Denmark international is glad he and his team-mates can now focus solely on football matters.
“First of all we are sad Ronaldo is not part of it. His legacy and his name at any club is special, for me to be fortunate to play with him in my career was very nice,” Eriksen said.
“The football goes on. You feel that the next game after, people will forget what it was like before and now our focus is really like he is not 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 started just 10 of United’s 21 matches prior to his departure, is reportedly close to joining Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr on a huge-money contract.
United are in the market for a replacement in the January window, despite the form of Marcus Rashford, who has scored 10 goals in 21 matches this season.
That is double the number of any other United player, with Anthony Martial next best with five goals, and Eriksen is hopeful the England international can continue his hot streak.
“He played very well [against Forest]. Luckily I haven’t been on the pitch where he has played a bad game yet,” Eriksen said.
“I let him continue that. He is looking sharp and confident and you can feel that when he is going forward.
“You feel that in the stadium and you feel that with him and it is a nice thing and I hope he keeps it going. You can see that he came back [from the World Cup] pretty confident.
“I didn’t see as much of his [England] games of course. You guys will have seen more, but he came back in good shape and luckily he has taken that into United.”
Following Tuesday’s comfortable win over Forest, United have now kept four successive clean sheets at Old Trafford in the league for the first time since June 2020.
United are a point off the top four with a game in hand, a far cry from the opening fortnight of the season when losing to Brighton and Hove Albion and then Brentford in humbling fashion.
“We are in a good place,” Eriksen added. “The start of the season is very different compared to now. The football is different now to the beginning.
“It was a bit hit-and-miss in some games but I think after that we picked up, we have been building since.
“You feel that in the group, you feel that the system is working which is something you have to believe in and I think we are doing that.”