Roy Keane believes Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has made a ‘common sense’ decision to leave Cristiano Ronaldo out of his starting line-up for the Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion.
The former Ajax boss has seen his first summer at Old Trafford dominated by talk of Ronaldo’s future after he reportedly informed the Red Devils hierachy of his desire to bring an end to his second spell with the club.
The former Real Madrid and Sporting Lisbon frontman missed the majority of pre-season and has only featured for 45 minutes of friendly fixtures following last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Spanish side Rayo Vallecano.
That has been a key factor in ten Hag’s decision to leave Ronaldo out of his first competitive starting line-up against the Seagulls and his decision met the backing of the former United captain.
Keane told Sky Sports: “I think there’s a few issues going on in the background and they’ve a few weeks to look at that before the window closes.
“I think from a footballing point of view, today was a straightforward call for the manager to make because of the lack of minutes Ronaldo has had.
“He had 45 minutes last week, I watched the game, he didn’t exactly put himself around, so he certainly needs minutes under his belt before you can trust him to go into a Premier League match. I think the call from the manager was common sense really.”
Despite agreeing over the decision to leave Ronaldo out of the starting line-up, Keane insisted Ten Hag must retain the services of the Portuguese superstar until further new additions are made.
The Red Devils are still looking to add to their squad and Keane believes signing a new striker, rather than relying on Anthony Martial, should be the focus before the transfer window closes in September.
“You can’t let Ronaldo go out of the door and think Martial is going to be the answer,” he explained. “Martial isn’t the answer, he’s proven that. He’s had a decent pre-season, big deal.
“But they haven’t got enough options at this moment in time, that might change over the next few weeks.
“At this point in time, from a footballing point of view, you have to hold onto Ronaldo, you just can’t let him go when you don’t have the back up behind him.”