When it comes to being prepared for the new season, Cristiano Ronaldo is behind his Manchester United team-mates after missing a chunk of pre-season.
The 37-year-old only played 45 minutes against Rayo Vallecano and Erik ten Hag faces a dilemma over whether to start him on Sunday versus Brighton.
A lack of options in attack means that Ten Hag may have to consider playing Ronaldo or at least putting him on the bench, with Anthony Martial ruled out of the upcoming game with a hamstring injury.
However, according to the Daily Mail, Ronaldo has been excellent in training this week.
Chris Wheeler reports: “Ten Hag could play Marcus Rashford or Anthony Elanga through the middle, and may consider a false nine having used one in a behind-closed-doors game against Wrexham last week.”
Bruno in a false nine?
Ten Hag is expected to answer questions about his selection at today’s press conference.
The situation highlights the problem caused by not signing a goalscorer this summer after being over-reliant on Ronaldo last season. Moreover, Edinson Cavani left the club but he was rarely available last term.
United didn’t fully address their problems in front of goal by re-signing Ronaldo last summer. He went on to score 24 goals in his first season, but at 37-years-old, there is no denying it was a short-term move.
Ten Hag prioritised the pursuit of Frenkie de Jong but I’m sure he will be considering a move for a new striker.
Martial is already injured and I’m not sure we can rely on him all season if Ronaldo leaves before deadline day.
I would like to see Bruno Fernandes played in a false nine this weekend, but I’d be delighted to see Alejandro Garnacho in the line-up.