Dwight Yorke has suggested that Cristiano Ronaldo will have “struggled” to see Bruno Fernandes captaining Manchester United against Liverpool.
WHAT HAPPENED? Erik ten Hag got his first Premier League victory on Monday evening as he watched his side overcome Liverpool thanks to goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.
Ronaldo and Harry Maguire started on the bench at Old Trafford and, while the former was brought on in the second half, Yorke has claimed it will have been tough for him to watch one of his international team-mates captain the side.
WHAT HE SAID: Speaking to Lord Ping, the ex-Manchester United striker said: “I spent 30 minutes with Ronaldo at the end of last season, and I can tell you that he wasn’t happy like a lot of the United players. He didn’t like to see the club where it was – it was a major disappointment for him.
“I would have made him captain for the coming season. Now we have a situation where Bruno is captaining Ronaldo, a player who Ronaldo captains for his national team. I think Ronaldo will have struggled a little bit with that – he probably doesn’t understand that decision.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Fernandes has been the club’s vice-captain for well over a year now when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer trusted him with the role in February 2021, prior to Ronaldo’s return. Ten Hag is clearly happy with his midfield general as the deputy to Maguire and, as long as the England defender is out of the team, he will keep the captain’s armband.
DID YOU KNOW? Prior to beating Liverpool on Monday evening, Manchester United had won just two of their 12 Premier League games in which Ronaldo hadn’t started since his return.
The win rate was vastly increased with him in the starting XI as the Red Devils picked up all three points in 14 of the 28 games he started.
WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO: The five-time Ballon d’Or winner looks as though he will still be a Manchester United player when the transfer window closes in a week’s time, unless something drastic happens.
That means he will have to force his way back into the starting XI, a task which will be made even tougher by the return to fitness of Anthony Martial, who made his first appearance of the season against Liverpool.