A pundit has highlighted one specific Manchester United player as the biggest victim of Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford, and urged him to seek a January exit to save his international career.
When bitter rivals Manchester City opened negotiations with Ronaldo, the red half of Manchester sprung into action. Already a legend at the club, Ronaldo was always odds-on to opt for the Red Devils if given the choice.
Despite being 36, Ronaldo has already made several telling contributions on the pitch. He bagged a brace in his re-debut and notched an incredibly vital last-minute winner to get United’s Champions League campaign back on track against Villarreal.
However, his return has also ruffled feathers in the forward ranks, most notably shunting Edinson Cavani down the order.
The Uruguayan veteran has been afforded just 104 minutes of league action this term. Cavani was given a rare start last time out against Everton, though only lasted 57 minutes when replaced by Ronaldo in the second half.
His lack of domestic game-time has also begun to seep into the international arena. For their recent World Cup qualifier defeat to Argentina, Cavani was chosen to start from the bench.
As such, fellow countryman, Gus Poyet, believes a January exit may be required to salvage his international career.
“He was unlucky, because without Ronaldo coming in, he was playing as the main striker,” Poyet told talkSPORT (via the Sun).
Jesse Lingard to be available in January for £15 million
Jesse Lingard will reportedly be available in January for £15 million if he decides not to renew his contract at Manchester United, with more updates on Donny van de Beek and Newcastle's targets from Old Trafford.
“The decision of Juventus, Man City getting involved, incredibly went against one person especially – and that was Cavani. Maybe he should move in January.
“From the outside, I don’t know him. But if I was him, seeing how things are now, and seeing him not getting to 90 minutes for the national team because he’s not playing – maybe.”
Cavani response to reduced Man Utd role
Cavani acknowledged it is “not like last year”, though stopped well short of kicking up a fuss.
“In football, you have to always be ready,” said Cavani. “It’s one of the keys at the top level.
“Sometimes you play more, sometimes you play less, managers make decisions. But that doesn’t stop the work to always be competitive.
“The league has just started and I have needed to be, not quite like last year, but I’m there to be a part of it.”