The Portuguese star has asked to leave the club while Rashford has not scored a Premier League goal since January, yet both players started in the 4-0 defeat to Brentford last weekend – a result which has left United bottom of the table.
Rooney feels it is time for Ten Hag to freshen up his attack and would take both players out of the starting XI for the visit of Liverpool, while he would also give in to Ronaldo’s request to leave.
‘I wouldn’t play Cristiano Ronaldo, and I wouldn’t play Marcus Rashford,’ wrote Rooney in his column for The Times.
‘If I was in Ten Hag’s position my main concern would be getting energy on the pitch, and United’s failure to recruit a number nine means they relied on Ronaldo against Brentford, even though he hadn’t trained a lot with the team. He looked like he needs time to get match fit.
‘He has also let it be known that he wants to leave the club. I don’t know his reasons but, as I wrote in my last column, I’d let him.
‘He’s a great player and will always score goals but the task for Ten Hag is to produce a team that can compete for the title in three or four years’ time. That means rebuilding with younger players.
‘As for Marcus, I think he needs to do a lot of soul-searching and figure out what he wants, for his own good, before anything else.
‘Watching him is a real concern: he looks like he wants to be anywhere but on a football pitch. I haven’t seen him smile on the field for a long time. His performances have dipped — he hasn’t been selected by England for more than a year.
‘I’m coming from a place of wanting the best for him. He’s a lovely kid and a local lad who came through the ranks at United, who everyone wants to see doing well.
‘But you look at the difference between Marcus now and when he first came into the team: the passion he showed, the smile on his face when he scored. It’s night and day.
‘He needs to look at himself and Ten Hag and the coaches need to figure out what’s going on, sit him down and have really honest conversations, because you can’t just keep rolling him out when clearly something’s not right.
‘There has been speculation about a move to Paris Saint-Germain, and it could be that he is another, like Cristiano, who wants a change of scene.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.