Patrice Evra believes Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag should have an ‘honest discussion’ with Cristiano Ronaldo after his omission from the team.
Ronaldo was banished to the bench after the Red Devils’ 4-0 defeat at Brentford last month and has not featured in the Dutchman’s starting XI in the four league games since the reverse in west London.
The Portuguese star was United’s top scorer last season with 18 Premier League goals following his return to the club from Juventus.
Ronaldo has mainly featured from the bench but has started the club’s two Europa League ties so far, with his only goal this season coming against Moldovan outfit Sheriff last week.
Evra was Ronaldo’s teammate for three years at Old Trafford, winning the three Premier League titles and the Champions League together in 2008 and the Frenchman believes that more dialogue is needed between Ronaldo and Ten Hag.
“With those big decisions Ten Hag sent massive shockwaves,” Evra told Betfair. “Ronaldo has made several appearances from the bench since losing his starting spot, but United have gone unbeaten in the league without the veteran in the starting XI.
“Let’s be clear, to put Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench is a massive statement, because Cristiano Ronaldo will think it’s not fair, last year he scored like 18 goals, so in his head he will be like ‘why am I on the bench?’ He’s right, but you have a manager and you have to respect his decision.”
Ronaldo’s failed exit from Old Trafford this summer has left him in a fight to win back his place with no departure possible until January at the earliest.
While Evra admits he understands the position of both player and manager in the current situation, the Frenchman still believes United will need to call on the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to aid their quest for honours this season.
“I understand the frustration of Cristiano Ronaldo, but also Ten Hag was like ‘I’m going to start a new era, Ronaldo is still in my plan,’ and I’m sure Cristiano Ronaldo is in his plan,” said Evra.
“Maybe, United need to suffer right now and they will need other players, but you will always need Cristiano Ronaldo, trust me, there will be a moment when we say thanks Cristiano, please stay, I’m convinced about that.
“I think Ten Hag and Ronaldo need to, if they haven’t already, have an honest discussion. Everything that is happening right now is logic.”
United will be hoping to have a fit and ready Ronaldo for what will be a busy period of games in the lead up to November’s World Cup.
Ten Hag’s side have key games in the Premier League and Europa League and will need to utilise his entire squad as the games come thick and fast.
First up for United is the Manchester derby with Man City at the Etihad on October 2.
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