Veteran striker Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to Instagram to issue a plea to play ahead of Erik ten Hag’s first game in charge of Manchester United.
The 37-year-old striker, who was the club’s top scorer last season, has only featured once in pre-season amid consistent rumours that he wants to leave the club before the transfer deadline in September, as he aspires to be playing in the Champions League this season.
Just last week, Ten Hag explained that the striker was well below the required level, casting doubt on his role in the opening Premier League fixture, at home against Brighton.
“I cannot tell in this moment (how fit he is). He is not on the level of the rest of the squad because he missed a lot of weeks. But he needs games and he needs training, a lot.”, the Manchester United boss explained.
But, an injury to Anthony Martial has left the Dutchman with a significant selection headache, with the alternatives for leading the line a pair of wingers, in Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga, or a false nine in the shape of Bruno Fernandes.
And now, Ronaldo has ensured that his opinion of the situation is known, taking to Instagram to post a one word status: “Ready”.
Whether Erik ten Hag agrees is of course another matter, but as the only recognised striker remaining in the senior squad, it would be quite the statement to overlook Ronaldo in favour of an unnatural forward, even if the striker can only provide 45 minutes or so of action.
And, if Ronaldo does start, who would back against him to score and begin to silence the speculation.