Cristiano Ronaldo has had a terrific start to his second stint at Old Trafford. He returned to Manchester with a brace against Newcastle United. However, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that he will have to be wary of Ronaldo’s workload management.
The Norwegian tactician opened up as he said Cristiano Ronaldo will not feature in every game for the Red Devils this season. Solskjaer wants to manage his minutes and keep him fresh for the most important matches.
While Solskjaer admits that it will be tough to keep him out of the starting eleven, he wants Ronaldo to be at his physical best in every match.
“The thing with Cristiano is that he looks after himself so much so I know he will recover quickly and he has had a pre-season,” the United head coach said. “Of course it’s important that we get everyone up and running and to get him up and running and to give him 90 minutes.
“Of course there is a game on Tuesday (against Young Boys). We will see what we do. But no, it’s not impossible to leave him out. He is 36, Mason [Greenwood] is 19, so it’s the same, I have to manage his minutes, and I have to manage a 36-year-old’s minutes as well.”
Solskajer also feels that Ronaldo’s arrival has forced others to raise their standards. The Norwegian admits that his presence raises a must-win attitude in players which charges them to perform their best on the field.
“The more quality you add to the group and the more healthy competition and leaders who they look up to,” Solskjaer said.
“I think seeing Raphael [Varane] and Cristiano coming it’s raised everyone’s eyebrows because they are winners, they have won everything there is to win and they put demands on themselves which the young boys, the rest of the team, they look at them and think: ‘That is how you stay at the top.”
“So it is only going to be good for everyone and there is competition for places which is great for me to see.”
In their next match, Manchester United will travel to Switzerland to play the Young Boys in their first Champions League clash of the season. It will be interesting to see if Ronaldo makes it to the starting eleven or not.