Paul Scholes tells Erik ten Hag why Cristiano Ronaldo should have started for Man United vs Southampton

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The Portugal captain was named on the bench for a second consecutive game, although Scholes does not think this was the right call despite the win

Paul Scholes says Cristiano Ronaldo would have been a better choice of striker in Manchester United’s lunchtime clash against Southampton instead of Marcus Rashford, who took up the responsibility from the injured Anthony Martial.

The 37-year-old began the 1-0 victory on the bench for the second match in a row, although enjoyed more than the nine minutes he was offered in Monday’s win over Liverpool. Ronaldo entered the St Mary’s pitch on 68 minutes, 13 minutes after Bruno Fernandes’ winning strike.

The forward failed to provide a significant impact on an uninspiring attacking performance as United settled for a one-goal triumph. With just five days to go until the deadline day, Ronaldo’s future is still unclear.

Despite this, Scholes believed Erik ten Hag should have given him the nod to lead the line on the south coast. “I thought watching the game today, I thought they needed Cristiano,” he told BT Sport.

“I thought they really lacked a focal point centrally and Cristiano is more of a focal point. When you get to 37 years of age you’re not going to be sprinting away, he is very good at holding the ball up and getting on the end of crosses whereas Marcus [Rashford] is totally different.

“There will be different times when different players will be needed.” Regarding a possible Ronaldo exit before deadline day, Scholes added: “I hope Cristiano doesn’t go but if he does go I think they’re going to need a centre-forward.”

Fellow pundit Peter Crouch agreed, saying: “If you want to get back to Manchester United of winning titles they’re going to need to be stronger than they are now. Casemiro’s not going to change that fact, he’s a top player but they’re going to need more.

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