Finally, we come to the curious case of Cristiano Ronaldo and his long-awaited return to Manchester.
The Portuguese superstar scored 24 goals in all competitions in his return season, but United have yet to win a trophy and have slipped to their worst ever Premier League finish.
This has led to suggestions that Ronaldo has disrupted the balance of the team and, after his failed bid to secure a summer exit to continue playing Champions League football, that theory appears to have been proven.
Ronaldo led the line in the Brentford defeat and cut an isolated figure as he watched his teammates open up at will while struggling to maintain any sort of form.
Ten Hag has since opted to deploy Rashford in midfield ahead of Ronaldo, sparking a marked improvement in the Red Devils’ pressing play, but the 37-year-old leader remains a problem.
Another former United defender, Rio Ferdinand, has warned that Ronaldo will be ‘absolutely furious’ about his new role on the bench, and if his situation doesn’t change soon he could prove to be a disruptive presence in the dressing room .
A January exit could be the best bet for all parties – Ronaldo, remember, has scored just once in eight appearances in all competitions this season – but the Red Devils would have to field a substitute first. due to a lack of backup options. at center forward.