Will Cristiano Ronaldo start for Manchester United? Erik ten Hag gives an ultimate update


First published September 7, 2022, 6:34 PM IST

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has provided a final update on Cristiano Ronaldo’s role at the club ahead of their Europa League opener against Real Sociedad.

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Cristiano Ronaldo, who wanted to leave Manchester United to try his luck in the Champions League this season, failed to secure a signing at one of Europe’s top clubs during the summer transfer window. The Portuguese talisman appears to have moved away from disaster and remains focused on the club’s resurgence under Erik ten Hag. However, doubts remain over whether the prolific striker will make the playing XI or endure a season starting on the bench. The Dutchman has cleared all doubts ahead of the Red Devils’ Europa League opener against Real Sociedad at Old Trafford on Thursday.

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Erik ten Hag has insisted that Ronaldo can still lead the attack for most of this season. The 37-year-old icon has started in one of United’s six Premier League appearances this season, having played just 45 minutes in their six pre-season appearances. On August 13, the Portuguese talisman started the 4-0 hammering of Brentford but was benched for the win over Liverpool nine days later and hasn’t started since.

Image credit: Getty Images

Image credit: Getty Images

Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford has been a revelation for the Red Devils, with the Englishman scoring three goals in the last four games. Although the 24-year-old is officially in the final year of his contract, United have the option of extending it for another year, which he will likely do before the January transfer window closes. While there are rumors of a move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), Ten Hag seems to be having fun working with the young striker.

Image credit: Getty Images

Image credit: Getty Images

“It starts with happiness, he (Rashford) really comes every day, appreciates that, he’s really smiling, a positive vibe and if you want to stick together a way of playing and transfer different aspects of your game and be happy, you will contribute more to the team, to the performance, to the result and also to the development. I don’t think he’s out of contract. United are in control of the situation,” added the Dutchman.

Image credit: Getty Images

Image credit: Getty Images

“Maybe I can’t keep it all [of the players] happy in every game, but everyone gets their playing time if they play well, that’s for sure. We need everyone. We have a lot of games to cover ahead of us, it’s not just the national teams and the World Cup, but the cups in England, the Europa League, the League Cup and, of course, the Premier League.” added the United manager.

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