Cristiano Ronaldo may have to get used to life as a substitute

Manchester United have scripted a remarkable turnaround in their Premier League form after starting the season with back-to-back humiliating defeats to Brighton and Brentford.

Erik ten Hag deserves credit for the return to form as he changed personnel and made tactical tweaks that saw United gain the upper hand over arch-rivals Liverpool and on the table Arsenal.

In the four games since the Brentford thrashing, the Red Devils have scored seven goals while conceding just two.

Ronaldo on the way out?

One of the biggest beneficiaries of Ten Hag’s new system has been Marcus Rashford. The Mancunian was deployed as the focal point of the attack and he rewarded the manager’s confidence with three goals and two assists.

Cristiano Ronaldo has only managed one league start so far and is yet to open his account for the season. He looked at the pace, which is expected as he missed pre-season for personal reasons.

The Sun blasted that ‘Manchester United stars believe Cristiano Ronaldo is still in the hunt for a move – and has his sights set on a January exit’.

It’s no secret that the Portuguese striker wanted to leave for the summer transfer window for a Champions League club. But despite his agent Jorge Mendes’ best attempts, no club showed up.

His display in United’s loss to Real Sociedad in their Europa League opener showed that age could finally catch up with the 37-year-old.

Too often he dropped deep in the search for the ball and without a focal point the players struggled to penetrate the Sociedad defence.

And most of the squad feel he is tactically not ready to lead the line for United, with the players preferring Rashford in that position.

CR7 does not match the vision of ETH

“The manager put a lot of effort into giving the team detailed information on what he wanted them to do and how he wanted them to play. Ronaldo is unaware of this and relies on his instincts when he’s playing. But that doesn’t work in Ten Hag’s system,” sources told the publication.

And one of the most damning verdicts to come out of the article was that Ten Hag views him as an impact substitute rather than a starter.

Ronaldo has always thrived on his often selfish desire for goals and that won’t work under the former Ajax boss as he seeks to build a team that can follow his instructions.

“Ronaldo is likely to find himself on the bench again in the future. And he’s going to have to get used to scoring far fewer goals because he’s only introduced towards the end of games when Ten Hag has already brought some changes that make United less attacking.

“He must realize that it will only work if he listens to Ten Hag’s plans.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo may have to get used to life as a substitute

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