The striker’s low match fitness was good enough reason for Ten Hag to leave him out of the starting lineup, according to Roy Keane. Speaking to Sky Sports (via Football Daily), the former Manchester United player said:
“I think it was a pretty straightforward call for the manager. As brilliant as Ronaldo is, he’s only had 45 mins of pre-season, I don’t care how well you look after yourself, you need more than that. I think he’s looking at the players he’s got, Brighton at home, he’s probably fancying his chances to beat Brighton without Ronaldo.
When asked if it would set the tone moving forward, Keane responded:
“Not really, I think there’s a few issues going on in the backroom, we’ve got a few weeks to look at that before the window closes. I think today from a footballing view it was a straightforward call for the manager to make because of the lack of minutes Ronaldo has had.”
“45 mins last week, he didn’t exactly put himself around, so he certainly needs some more minutes under his belt before you can trust him in a Premiership match, I think the call from the manager was common sense really.”
Cristiano Ronaldo could still leave Manchester United
Much of the headlines around Ten Hag’s start to life in the Old Trafford dugout has been on whether Cristiano Ronaldo will stay at Manchester United. Numerous reports have stated that the Portuguese great discussed with the United hierarchy and revealed his intentions to leave the club. However, they want to keep him, and he could be an important part of their season.
Chelsea have reportedly considered a move for the goalscorer, having let Romelu Lukaku leave on loan to Inter. It is unlikely that the Red Devils would be willing to let the 37-year-old move to a direct Premier League rival, but they may accept if the situation leads to dressing room problems.
While Cristiano Ronaldo’s future is still in the air, he will hope to enjoy some minutes against Brighton and add his name to the scoresheet from the bench.
Paul Merson has predicted all the GW 1 fixtures of the Premier League. More details right here