Broadcaster Piers Morgan has hit out at Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag’s decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo to the bench against Liverpool on August 22.
The Portuguese star has been replaced by Marcus Rashford as United’s centre-forward for their clash with the Merseysiders.
Rashford switching to the striker’s role has allowed Anthony Elanga to come into the side on the right-wing with Jadon Sancho moving to the left.
The decision to drop Ronaldo has drawn the ire of many fans, including Morgan, who is an avid supporter of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
He has reacted furiously on Twitter:
“Benching (Ronaldo) for Elanga against Liverpool, even by current abysmal Manchester United standards, is one of the dumbest decisions in football history. Ten Hag should be fired for this alone if they get hammered tonight.. or should I say WHEN they get hammered.”
The former Real Madrid star returned to Old Trafford last summer and impressed with 24 goals in 38 appearances.
However, he was part of a United side that could only manage a sixth-placed finish in the league, meaning they failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
A lack of Champions League football is thought to have been behind Ronaldo’s reported desire to leave the club.
The Portuguese did start Ten Hag’s side’s last outing, which was an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Brentford on August 13.
He cut a frustrated figure throughout the defeat and even ignored calls to acknowledge United supporters following the match.
Does Ten Hag want Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United?
The situation over Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United continues to take many twists and turns.
The veteran striker is a Red Devils legend having won the Premier League three times alongside the Champions League.
However, the circus surrounding his future is likely bemusing Ten Hag who would have wanted to start his tenure off without any unnecessary issues.
The Dutch tactician appears to be open to allowing Ronaldo to leave but co-owner Joel Glazer wants to keep hold of the forward.
This is reportedly due to his commercial value but what value does the player possess if his desire to leave is potentially causing issues in the mood at Old Trafford?
The main problem around Manchester United last season was the lack of fight and hunger shown by players amidst unrest behind-the-scenes.
Ten Hag will want to rid the club of any issues and Cristiano Ronaldo does seem to be one of them.