Erik ten Hag believes Cristiano Ronaldo can reclaim his place in Manchester United’s first team, despite the Portugal captain falling out of favour since the new manager’s arrival at Old Trafford in the summer.
Ronaldo has had to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench in each of the ‘Red Devils” last four games, which all ended in wins for Ten Hag’s side, but the 37-year-old could return to the starting line-up for Thursday’s Europa League match against Real Sociedad.
Ten Hag (asked if Ronaldo is ready to start for the team):
“He started against Brentford.”
Journalist: “But then not since”
“Then not since, but he is ready to start here.”
Journalist: “Given his age, and your demands on that position, can you see him, is it possible for him to be a starting centre forward, for the majority of the season?”
Ten Hag also praised rejuvenated striker Marcus Rashford, who has started all six Premier League games under the Dutchman, scoring three goals in the process.
“I see a happy Marcus Rashford, and I see some phases in his game (that) we could improve, and we worked really hard (over) the last two-and-a-half months with him on different aspects, and he likes it and he wants to transfer it to the pitch, and that is what you see in this moment. It started with happiness. He’s coming here every day, he enjoys it, he’s really smiling. A really positive vibe. And if you put all those things together – like the way of play, you want to, improve different aspects of your game and you are happy – you will (give) more contribution to the team.”
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