Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must treat Cristiano Ronaldo differently to the rest of his teammates, according to former defender Jaap Stam.

Ronaldo returned to Manchester United on a two-year deal this summer from Juventus and has started his second spell at the club on fire with four goals in four games so far. At 36-years-old, Ronaldo has returned as a senior member of the squad and there have been suggestions that Solskjaer would struggle to manage a player of that profile.

After some criticism for substituting Ronaldo in the Champions League defeat against Young Boys, Stam believes Solskjaer must treat him differently to the rest of his teammates because of who he is and what he can do for the team.

Speaking to 'Off the Ball podcast', the former treble winner said "If you bring in a player like this at the age that he is, you cannot say to Cristiano, 'Hey, I'm the manager, you listen to me and do what I want.'

"He is a grown-up, an adult, he's 36-years-old so you need to treat him with a lot of respect for what he's done and what he can do for you to help you out.

"Ole is going to be in talks with Cristiano probably daily in how to get the best out of him, and what he can do [for the team to] provide more balls for Cristiano to score.

"The important thing for United is that Ole uses Ronaldo in a way where he can hopefully do less, but still hopefully score a lot of goals."

Stam also believes that Ronaldo's presence and experience will only benefit youngsters in and around the first-team picture currently.

"What he has done to keep himself fit and still be one of the best players in the world," Stam pointed out, "I don't think he is a selfish guy.

"I think he will go to younger players to help them and talk to his teammates about what to do, and also not being selfish for himself but giving others the opportunities to score when he can't.

"That tells you something about a player of his stature and his professionalism. When he comes in, the whole club changes a little bit and there's probably a different feeling."

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