Cristiano Ronaldo STARTS for Manchester United against Brentford as the wantaway superstar earns a place in Erik ten Hag’s XI for the first time since handing in a summer transfer request
- Cristiano Ronaldo has been picked to start for Man United at Brentford
- The wantaway Portuguese star came off the bench in the 2-1 defeat to Brighton
- Scott McTominay drops to the bench with Christian Eriksen moving deeper
- Ronaldo submitted a transfer request this summer but now returns to the side
The Portuguese legend was only on the bench in United’s dismal 2-1 home loss to Brighton before coming on as a second-half substitute.
Ronaldo comes back into the team as Ten Hag seeks a first win in the Premier League as United boss but was unable to prevent his side from slumping to a disastrous 4-0 deficit at half-time.
Cristiano Ronaldo could do little as Manchester United slumped away at Brentford
Ronaldo was starting his first Premier League match under new boss Erik ten Hag
Ronaldo could only watch as an error from David de Gea allowed Josh Dasilva to open the scoring before Mathias Jensen robbed Christian Eriksen of the ball to make it 2-0, while Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo completed the scoring in a scarecly believable first half.
The wantaway forward informed United he wanted to leave the club earlier in transfer the window, but after several of Europe’s elite clubs distanced themselves from a potential transfer, the 37-year-old looks set to stay at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo scored 24 goals for United last season, and following a shocking home defeat last time out he finds himself back in the starting line-up with his side desperate for a win.
The Red Devils have not lost two opening games in a Premier League season since 1992-93 – when they went on to lift the title.
Cristiano Ronaldo returns to the United starting XI against Brentford in the Premier League
United boss Erik ten Hag looks to Ronaldo to help change a disastrous start to the season
But despite Ronaldo’s presence he was barely involved in a dreadful team display from United in the first half with his only notable contribution being a shot that flew comfortably over the bar from 20 yards out.
Ronaldo lined up alongside Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford in a front line not short on pace.
Scott McTominay dropped to the bench, with Christian Eriksen playing in a deeper role than last time out, alongside Fred, with Bruno Fernandes in his familiar No 10 position.
Ronaldo only came off the bench in the 2-1 defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford on Sunday
Christian Eriksen will face his old side Brentford from a deeper midfield role than last week
It is also Danish midfielder Eriksen’s first game back at the Brentford Community Stadium since departing the west Londoners at the end of his short-term contract lasting from January to June 2022.
With Ronaldo’s future at the club still far from certain, despite a lack of interested parties, United have been linked with a number of transfer targets which have drawn criticism from supporters.
Reports of interest in Bologna’s Austrian forward Marko Arnautovic drew widespread condemnation on social media, with ex-Arsenal and England forward Paul Merson describing him as a ‘primark player’.
Ten Hag will hope the club’s leading goalscorer from last season can give his side their first points of the 2022-23 season
And with Anthony Martial’s future at the club also as yet unclear Ten Hag is desperately searching for a No 9 and, according to The Athletic, United are considering ex-Chelsea flop Alvaro Morata as ‘a genuine possibility’ to solve their striker problems.
The report says that United have already held talks with Atletico Madrid and have been told that the former Real Madrid man could cost nearly £30million in order to pull him away from the Spanish capital.
The 29-year-old is no stranger to the Premier League, having made 47 appearances in the competition for Chelsea, scoring 16 goals.
Striker Alvaro Morata is being considered as a ‘genuine possibility’ for Manchester United