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Erik ten Hag faces big choice on Ronaldo after Anthony Martial injury


Unsettled: Cristiano Ronaldo

Unsettled: Cristiano Ronaldo

Unsettled: Cristiano Ronaldo

Manchester United’s preparations for their opening Premier League game have suffered another blow with injury to Anthony Martial leaving Erik ten Hag with a dilemma over unsettled striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Martial is set to miss Sunday’s visit of Brighton with a hamstring problem sustained during last weekend’s friendly defeat by Atletico Madrid in Oslo.

Already short of options up front after failing to reinforce the attack this summer, Ten Hag must decide whether to use Ronaldo despite his lack of match fitness, draft Anthony Elanga (20) into his starting XI or employ an extra midfielder.

Ten Hag had been planning to start Martial at centre-forward, with Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho either side, but the France striker’s anticipated absence places a fresh spotlight on the chronic need for attacking reinforcements.

With Ten Hag admitting Ronaldo was “not on the level of our current squad” in fitness terms, it seems likely the manager will involve Elanga. That could mean starting Rashford at centre-forward, with Sancho on the left to accommodate the Sweden forward on the right.

Left-back Alex Telles has completed a season-long loan move to Sevilla. The 29-year-old joined the from Porto in October 2020 and made 50 appearances. Telles has mostly played back-up to Luke Shaw and was pushed further down the pecking order by the arrival of Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord.

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