Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has claimed that Manchester United attacker Marcus Rashford has replaced Cristiano Ronaldo for good. Following a poor start to his tenure at Old Trafford, new manager Erik ten Hag has turned things around in style.
The Red Devils have won four Premier League games in a row after losing their first two and find themselves fifth in the table with 12 points in six games.
Agbonlahor has now claimed that Manchester United are reaping the benefits of dropping Cristiano Ronaldo. The former Villa forward has claimed that the Red Devils finally have the team spirit they have been lacking for a long time.
He told Football Insider:
“Man United look a lot better now, they look more organised and like they have a better team spirit. Everyone was calling for Man United to drop Ronaldo and play players who want to press and they are reaping the benefits.
“You look at [Christian] Eriksen and [Bruno] Fernandes in the middle creating and [Scott] McTominay’s looking good.”
Agbonlahor has singled out Marcus Rashford for praise for turning his form around and has also tipped him for a place in the World Cup squad. The former England attacker has claimed that Manchester United are in a great place to secure at least a top-four finish this season. He added:
“Antony looks like a great signing. [Jadon] Sancho is starting to want to take players on and Rashford is looking like we want to see and thought we had. This amazing Rashford is a guarantee for the World Cup with the way he’s playing.
“It’s looking better at Man United. What it has done as well has probably forced [Todd] Boehly’s hand at Chelsea to think ‘If I don’t change this soon we might not make the top-four’.
“There are at least six teams fighting for the top four. There is no reason why Chelsea are guaranteed to get it or Spurs or Arsenal. United will be fancying themselves on their recent form to get into the top four.”
Cristiano Ronaldo might find it difficult to force himself back to Manchester United starting XI
Cristiano Ronaldo has seen his game time get severely restricted under Ten Hag this season. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has played just 297 minutes across seven games in all competitions.
The Portuguese international is yet to score his first goal of the season and has looked out of place in Ten Hag’s high-pressing setup.
Rashford has looked rejuvenated in the number nine role, while Anthony Martial also seems to be ahead of Ronaldo in the pecking order.
It seems quite a difficult road for Cristiano Ronaldo if he has to make his way back to Manchester United starting XI.