Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag faces a dilemma over Cristiano Ronaldo… with Anthony Martial’s injury potentially forcing him to pick a rowdy star against Brighton, even though a troubled attacker is NOT fit
- Cristiano Ronaldo is two weeks behind Man United teammates in fitness
- The 37-year-old played 45 minutes against Rayo Vallecano in friendly weekend
- Portuguese is also said to have been close to his best in recent training sessions
- Erik ten Hag may have no choice but to pick the attacker due to a lack of options
Erik ten Hag must decide whether Cristiano Ronaldo can be thrown into the starting line on Sunday for Manchester United’s opening game against Brighton at Old Trafford.
A lack of attacking capabilities means Ten Hag may have to consider playing Ronaldo or at least benching him, even as he admits the troubled Portuguese star is not fit.
The 37-year-old is two weeks behind his team-mates in preparation for the season, having missed the club’s summer tour and five friendlies.
Cristiano Ronaldo left the ground early in a friendly against Rayo Vallecano
Ronaldo, however, played 45 minutes against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday and would have been excellent in training this week.
Although Anthony Martial led the attack in pre-season, the Frenchman suffered a hamstring injury against Atletico Madrid in Oslo last weekend, which will put him out of the Brighton opener and two more games.
Ten Hag could play Marcus Rashford or Anthony Elanga down the middle and consider a false nine by using one in a closed-door match against Wrexham last week.
Erik ten Hag missed a number of important goals this transfer period
Ten Hag, who is facing his first major selection interview as United manager, will answer questions about Ronaldo’s availability during a press conference in Carrington today.
The situation highlights the problem created by United’s failure to replace Edinson Cavani this summer after spending a large chunk of their transfer budget chasing Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
Missing Darwin Nunez earlier in the summer could be a huge blow to the Red Devils.