Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has been dealt a huge blow over the fitness of his superstar centre-back Raphael Varane.
Speaking in his pre-game press conference on Monday, interim manager Ralf Rangnick revealed news that the United fanbase will be gutted to hear ahead of such an esteemed clash against Liverpool tonight.
The German confirmed that Edinson Cavani, Scott McTominay, Luke Shaw, Fred and Raphael Varane will all miss the trip to Anfield.
On Raphael Varane’s injury status, Rangnick said: “Rapha [Varane] didn’t train with the team. He was on the pitch with one of our rehab coaches.”
Whilst Varane has failed to live up to the standards we grew so used to seeing at Real Madrid defensively speaking, he has maintained his composure in possession – which would have been of great benefit to Manchester United against a high-pressing Klopp side tonight.
Maguire and Varane are difficult to split in their defensive metrics this season and are also the most composed duo on the ball within United’s central defensive line.
The 28-year-old has managed to transfer his passing prowess powers from his time at Real Madrid, with his passing completion percentages of both short and long pass types ranking him in and around the 90th percentile for positionally similar players across Europe’s top five leagues over the last 365 days, according to FB Ref.
It’s this particular range of passing that United will miss most tonight, with his efficiency in possession serving as a kickstarter for United’s counterattacks. For a defensive player, his ability to create is impressive, as can be evidenced through his assist against Wolves earlier this season.
Varane also brings experience at the back, with the Frenchman having a full understanding of the term ‘pressure’ with his experience on the big stage with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid.
With Ronaldo ruled out and Maguire not seen as an out-and-out leader in most people’s eyes, Varane’s presence, just for experience alone, will be sorely missed.
Rangnick and the United faithful will be gutted, but can hopefully look forward to the Frenchman’s return soon.