Considering the success the Portuguese forward has had over the years at Old Trafford, it’s a sad way to go out, tarnishing his legacy and reputation due to Erik ten Hag’s methods.
The Dutchman won’t be fazed, however, with the club heading into the winter break in a solid position, with a chance to improve in the second half of the season.
He will need to strengthen his attacking department, especially to fill the Ronaldo void, but he might just be able to save the club millions by unleashing an 18-year-old winger who has impressed so far.
Having joined the Red Devils from Atletico Madrid in 2021 when he was just 16 years old, Alejandro Garnacho then caught the eye at various youth levels, registering 33 goal contributions in just 53 matches.
The youngster has started to gain more first-team opportunities this season, especially in the Europa League. He has played four matches in Europe, averaging a SofaScore rating of 6.90 while chipping in with a goal against Real Sociedad.
Ten Hag appears to be gradually introducing him to the rigours of senior football, yet with a big Ronaldo size gap to fill, he might just be thrust into more action in the second half of the season.
Indeed, Javier Mascherano – his manager at youth level for Argentina – lavished him with praise, suggesting that the 18-year-old has “huge potential”.
Garnacho has missed out on Argentina’s World Cup squad, however, this may be a blessing in disguise for Man United, as he can continue to improve and impress Ten Hag instead of potentially spending much of the tournament on the bench.
A crucial second half of the campaign awaits, and the youngster can take advantage of the lack of attacking options for United and save the manager millions in the process.