‘Man United star has shot himself in the foot now, Ten Hag doesn’t want him in the team’ – Paul Merson

Paul Merson Manchester United

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Former Arsenal and England midfielder Paul Merson believes Cristiano Ronaldo has given Erik ten Hag the perfect opportunity to take him off the team.

Ronaldo refused to come off the bench during Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, headed down the tunnel back to the dressing room and left the stadium before his teammates had even returned after the full-time whistle.

Merson, speaking to Sky Sports, said: “He has shot himself in the foot now, hasn’t he, Ronaldo? He [Ten Hag] was under pressure to play Ronaldo and he doesn’t want to play him in the team.

“He came on against Everton and scored a great goal and then didn’t play. He doesn’t want him in the team and now that has been taken all away and he has the easiest job in the world now.”

Asked when Ronaldo could play for United, Merson continued: “On Thursday nights he will be [playing]. He won’t be happy with that but Ten Hag won’t care. He will play against Sheriff.

“This is a bit of an Arteta situation; he had a problem with [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and Ten Hag now has one with Ronaldo.

“In that dressing room after the game, there would have been a feel-good factor after Man United had played great and all of the players would have been in the dressing room going ‘what is going to happen? What do you reckon will happen?’.

“He has set an example, Ten Hag, and all of the young lads will be sitting there going ‘wow, he has just done that to Cristiano Ronaldo’. It will send an unbelievable message to them.”