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SPORTS UPDATE

EPL: Real reason Ten Hag is benching Ronaldo, Casemiro – Rio Ferdinand

Former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand, has admitted manager Erik Ten Hag is right to bench Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, he believes the 37-year-old will eventually win back his place.

Ronaldo has not started any of United’s last four Premier League fixtures.

Ten Hag has preferred Marcus Rashford upfront to lead his attack.

But Ferdinand reckons his former United team-mate Ronaldo will re-establish himself as an automatic starter – alongside his former Real Madrid team-mate Casemiro.

“He’ll be pissed, he won’t be happy,” Ferdinand told William Hill.

“You don’t get to do what he’s done over that period of time and be happy and content to be on the bench, or not to be getting the numbers you want to be getting. But he’ll be professional, he’ll be focused because he’ll know his time’s going to come.

“He hasn’t had a pre-season, so I understand why he’s not playing, and Marcus Rashford is scoring and assisting goals at the moment, so I understand why he’s staying in the team.

“The team is the overriding factor at the moment. The way United started the season, they’re making sure the team is doing the right things and forgetting about individuals.

“Obviously, Casemiro is a big signing but isn’t playing. Ronaldo isn’t playing, but their time will come. And, when their time comes, I think they’ll both stay in the team. I just think that will be the case and the manager will shift it about.”

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