Man Utd news: Gabriel Agbonlahor names six brilliant players without Cristiano Ronaldo | Soccer | sport

Gabriel Agbonlahor believes six Manchester United players are benefiting from the decision to regularly leave Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench. The Portugal international has started just two of his side’s seven matches in all competitions so far. He is yet to score either, with the club’s young talents now central to Erik ten Hag’s plans at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo, who wanted to leave United in the summer transfer window, had a frustrating start to the season.

He is yet to score in seven appearances and, against Real Sociedad in the Europa League on Thursday night, drew as his side slipped to a 1-0 defeat.

Without Ronaldo, United have seen a transformed team – winning their last four Premier League games.

And Agbonlahor, speaking to Football Insiderthink Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, Antony, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford are all benefiting from their No.7 ban.

“Man United look a lot better now, they look more organized and they have better team spirit,” he said.

“Everyone was calling on Man United to drop Ronaldo and play against players who want to put pressure on and they are reaping the benefits.

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“United will build on their recent form to enter the top four.”

Ronaldo will hope to feature when United face off with Sheriff in the Europa League on Thursday night (5.45pm).

And he will also aim to stand out on the eighth request.

However, there is a growing feeling that the Portugal international is the odd one out when it comes to Ten Hag’s attack.

United have looked much smoother and smoother without the 37-year-old in the squad, with Rashford in particular benefiting.

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The England star has scored three goals in six Premier League appearances this season, including efforts against Liverpool and Arsenal.

And a source has told The Sun that Ten Hag believes the 24-year-old can score 20 goals this season and propel the club to title glory.

“The manager wants Marcus to be United’s No.1 striker and lead the line up front,” they reportedly said.

“He thinks Marcus has the ability to become one of the best in the world and wants him to express himself in games.

“He always tells him to use his pace and skills when he gets the chance. He told Marcus he will easily score 20 this season.

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“They have a great relationship and Marcus is really happy.”

Besides, the insider also claims that United players are delighted with the decision to keep Ronaldo on the bench on a regular basis.

“As long as Ronaldo starts on the bench, the players have the confidence to speak out,” they added.

“With Ronaldo on the pitch, the team feels under pressure. All the players loved Ronaldo’s return, but they are frustrated that he missed pre-season.

“Ronaldo is unaware and trusts his instincts, but that doesn’t work in Ten Hag’s system.”

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