Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo is still important at the club despite being dropped for Monday’s victory over Liverpool.
Despite expressing a desire to leave United, Ronaldo has begun the season with the Red Devils, featuring in all three of their Premier League games.
However, two of those appearances came off the bench, including Monday night’s home meeting with Liverpool after both Ronaldo and Harry Maguire were dropped from the starting lineup.
The hosts went on to win the game 2-1 courtesy of goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, and after the game, Ten Hag stated that Ronaldo is still an important part of the squad.
Commenting on the decision to drop Ronaldo and Maguire, the United boss told reporters: “The demand is for everyone, including the manager, we have to deliver. You have an obligation to the club, to the fans.
“This a massive club with a huge fanbase, and we have to deliver that. We have to act as a team, and every individual, every day, has to give their best. That is the demand for the manager and also for the team.”
Speaking on Ronaldo specifically, Ten Hag said: “I think he can (adapt), and in his whole career and under several managers, he did. Several Styles and systems. He always performed. Why can’t he do this?”
When questioned on the 37-year-old’s age, the United boss responded: And? His age is not an issue. If you are young, you are good enough, and when you are old, you still deliver the performance, you are also good enough.”
Ten Hag will have to decide whether to include Ronaldo in the starting XI for Saturday’s trip to St Mary’s Stadium to face Southampton.