Ten Hag’s decision to leave CR7 benched in such a crucial game did not impress at the former Red Devils skipper.
Manchester United have disrespected Cristiano Ronaldo and should’ve allowed him to leave in the summer, according to Roy Keane.
For the first time in his career, Ronaldo has ended up on the bench repeatedly. Erik ten Hag has only started him once in the club’s seven Premier League games this season. The United manager claimed he didn’t use the forward in Sunday’s 6-3 derby defeat to Manchester City as a mark of respect.
But Keane, who partnered Ronaldo during the Portuguese’s first spell at Old Trafford, fears things could get ugly for his former teammate if this ‘ridiculous’ stance from Ten Hag continues.
Keane slams Man Utd for ‘disrespect’
“I think Man United are just showing disrespect to Ronaldo,” the Irishman told Sky Sports.
“I think he should have been let go before the transfer window. I think the manager is holding on to him – okay, you say you need options, but you don’t hold on to Ronaldo to sit on the bench. He’s one of the greatest players ever.
“He had options – this idea that he’d no options is rubbish, he did have options, four or five very good options.
“Okay, today the manager, he brought [Anthony] Martial on and he scored two, so yeah, that’s justified, but generally speaking, the bigger picture, he’s not going to play Ronaldo, we know that. He’s played in one or two European games.
“It’s just going to get uglier as the season goes on. Okay, Ronaldo’s motivated with the World Cup coming up, but if he’s sitting on the bench week in, week out, it’s not good, it’s just going to get ugly.
“I think United have shown nothing but disrespect to Ronaldo. They should have let him go when the opportunity came.
“As I said, he did have options to go. I know that for a fact, and holding on to him to sit on the bench, I think is ridiculous for a player of his stature.”
Hat-tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden saw City cruise to a victory at the Etihad. Antony got one back for United in the second half, while substitute Anthony Martial bagged a late brace to settle the score at 6-3.
Next up for Ronaldo and the team is a trip to Cyprus on Thursday to play Omonia in the Europa League.