Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t feature in Manchester United’s derby defeat but still managed to dominate the post-match discussions.
Erik ten Hag handed Marcus Rashford a start against Manchester City despite Ronaldo being fully fit and available. He started both games for Portugal during the international break.
After the break at the Etihad, the United boss once again overlooked the 37-year-old and turned to Martial to save the day. The Frenchman scored a brace, which proved to be too little too late as Pep Guardiola’s side claimed all three points with a 6-3 win.
Ten Hag explained his decision was motivated “out of respect to his big career”, but Roy Keane bashed United for showing his former teammate “nothing but disrespect” and said the club shouldn’t have stood in Ronaldo’s way in summer.
"𝙈𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙐𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙬𝙣 𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙍𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡𝙙𝙤!" 😤
Roy Keane believes Man United should have let Cristiano Ronaldo leave the club in the summer. pic.twitter.com/Zgs4vlItPG
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 2, 2022
Now, it’s being reported that Ronaldo is still looking to depart Old Trafford and is eyeing a January exit. According to The Telegraph, the Dutchman is open to letting his star player leave if an acceptable offer is made.
Ten Hag initially wanted to keep the Portuguese captain and build his side around him, but Ronaldo missed the big part of the club’s pre-season, opening doors for Martial and Rashford to lead the line. His only Premier League start of the season so far came in United’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford.