For the first time in around two decades, Cristiano Ronaldo is not a first-team starter for a club, as he struggled for playing time under the management of Erik ten Hag at Manchester United. Marcus Rashford appears to be ahead of the Portuguese legend in the pecking order right now.
Even when Ronaldo has been given opportunities, he has not covered himself in glory. His only goal this season has come from a spot kick. According to stats from Transfermarkt, he has scored once and assisted none in 8 appearances and 378 minutes of football in total.
On the other hand, without him in the line up, Manchester United have been playing free scoring football and most importantly, winning games. Thus, nobody can blame Ten Hag for using Ronaldo as mostly an impact substitute this season.
At the same time though, one has to wonder what this means for Ronaldo’s future at Manchester United. He certainly is not going to be happy with sitting on the bench, considering how competitive he is. And as reported by GIVEMESPORT, journalist Dean Jones said about the situation:
"“Ronaldo won’t be happy, obviously, with a sub role for the duration of a season, but I’m sure we’ll just see him knuckle down and working hard and be professional right now.”"
Journalist talks about Ronaldo’s situation at Manchester United
Ronaldo is the type of player who will give it his best to find the back of the net, every time he is on the pitch.
But off it, he will surely try to engineer an exit out of Old Trafford as soon as possible. It is believed that he wanted to leave in the summer itself but there was not much interest in Ronaldo’s signature at the time.
In January, the situation could possibly be a bit different. Some clubs might be desperate to add a source of goals after struggling through the first half of the campaign and as a result, there could be an window of opportunity for Ronaldo to make a move, even at 37 years of age and completely out of form.