'Why Ronaldo is not in Man Utd's best starting XIs'

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Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphale Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphale Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo

A Manchester United star has explained why he believes teammate Cristiano Ronaldo has been relegated to a bench role of late under manager Erik ten Hag. 

Ronaldo has started only one of United's first six Premier League matches of the campaign, with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho seemingly above him in the pecking order in recent weeks.

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However, this comes as no surprise for some given that the 37-year-old missed almost the entirely of the side's pre-season preparations due to family reasons, while his attempts to leave Old Trafford during the latest transfer window may have also had a negative impact on his chances of reclaiming his starting spot under Ten Hag.

The relatively new man at the Red Devils' helm is considered an authoritarian, according to reports in his native country the Netherlands, and it is also believed the Dutchman has not been particularly impressed with Ronaldo's antics since the start of his tenure.

Defender Raphael Varane has now revealed what he believes is the reason for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's absence for the starting line-up of late. 

"As we said, Ronaldo is here. And, as we all know, he didn't have a pre-season. You cannot miss pre-season. It's a base," the France international said in an interview with TCL Global. 

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"Especially with the game we play, the way we want to play.

"We don't play in the same way we did last year, there is no comparison.

"This demands co-operation and it demands certain positioning in – and out – of possession.

"The other thing is his fitness."

United's next match is against FC Sheriff in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening. 

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