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 is selected in Manchester United’s starting XI 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 joins England forwards Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho in attack
- Ronaldo submitted a transfer request this summer but now returns to the side
Cristiano Ronaldo has been selected in Erik ten Hag’s starting XI for Saturday’s match against Brentford.
The Portuguese legend started on the bench in United’s dismal 2-1 home loss to Brighton, and comes back into the team as Ten Hag seeks a first win in the Premier League as United’s boss.
The wantaway forward had submitted a formal transfer request earlier in 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.
Cristiano Ronaldo returns to the Manchester 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
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 first ever trophy – and Ronaldo’s presence will lend some much needed bite to a side that appeared toothless a week ago.
Scott McTominay drops to the bench, with Christian Eriksen set to play a deeper role than last time out, alongside Bruno Fernandes, and the Portugal skipper lines up alongside Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford in a front line not short on pace.
On Friday it was announced Cristiano Ronaldo had made 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist
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’s desperate search 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 and assisting six in the process.
Striker Alvaro Morata is being considered as a ‘genuine possibility’ for Manchester United