Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that he denied Cristiano Ronaldo a request to feature in Manchester United ‘s third-round League Cup match against West Ham.
Ronaldo scored when the two teams met on Sunday in the Premier League but was left out of the match day squad as United welcomed David Moyes and co to Old Trafford.
Solskjaer changed his entire starting XI from the 2-1 win, handing a start to match-winner and ex-Irons loanee Jesse Lingard.
The Red Devils were behind at half-time thanks to Manuel Lanzini’s opener.
Alongside David De Gea, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw, Fred and Paul Pogba, Ronaldo was rested ahead of his side’s game at home to Aston Villa on Saturday, with Solskjaer explaining his thinking pre-match.
“We decided more or less before Sunday [to make changes],” he told Sky Sports. “We need more players to get match fit. Alex Telles is back and has been training for a week. It will be a long season.
“Cristiano has come in and made a difference already, he wants to play as much as possible but I don’t think it is possible,” Solskjaer revealed.
“If you are going to be successful at the end, you need the whole squad and minutes to be shared out. A risk making so many changes but we have played some games behind closed doors and hopefully we find the rhythm.”
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored four goals in three games since returning to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo left Juventus on transfer deadline day to complete a sensational homecoming which got off to a dream start in the 4-1 win against Newcastle, where he netted twice.
The 36-year-old then followed up with a goal in the shock Champions League defeat away to Young Boys of Bern, Switzerland, with the Portugal captain equalising at the weekend before Lingard struck in the 89th minute after coming on as a substitute.
Ronaldo is keen to pick up silverware back at United, recently telling MUTV: “As I told you before, we have huge potential.
“We have fantastic players, a good coach, a good team. We need to build up the mentality to win the Premier League and even the Champions League,” the No.7 stated. “So I am here to help the team. I think we have the 11 that are playing and those on the bench that can help as well.
“We have a good team, as I told you, and the spirit is there.”
Reflecting on Sunday’s result, he wrote on Instagram : “Every game in the Premier League is always an amazing fight for the three points.
“Today we got to see a glimpse of all the obstacles that we will find on our way, but we have to keep our mind set on our goals,” Ronaldo added.
“Together! Strong! Focused! Let’s go, Devils!”