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Manchester United suffer Raphael Varane injury blow

Manchester United have suffered a major blow ahead of the derby against Manchester City after star defender Raphael Varane was ruled out of action with a hamstring injury.

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The 28-year-old had only recently returned from a fitness concern when he had to be substituted in United’s Champions League clash against Atalanta last time out.

And now, it’s been revealed that Varane faces up to a month on the sidelines, meaning he’ll be absent for Saturday’s clash against City and potentially the Red Devils’ next four fixtures after the international break – against Watford, Villarreal, Chelsea and Arsenal.

“The club confirms that Raphael sustained a hamstring injury, which is expected to keep him out of action for around a month,” a United statement read on Wednesday. “We’d like to wish Raphael all the best as he works on his recovery.”

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s struggling charges set to face a formidable City side without their most in-form defender over the weekend, it’s likely to be an extremely tough test at Old Trafford for the home side.

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Solskjaer will be absolutely devastated

News that Varane will be absent for a month will leave Solskjaer feeling absolutely devastated, given the importance of the centre-back to the 20-time English champions.

United have been woefully below their best in the opening weeks of the current campaign, losing five matches in all competitions. However, Varane has only started one of those defeats, highlighting the influence he has over proceedings.

And the World Cup winner’s underlying numbers also illustrate the impact that the France international has when he’s on the pitch.

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As per WhoScored, Varane has averaged a whopping four clearances per league game this season – the highest tally amongst his teammates – and 1.5 tackles, the third-highest total compared to his colleagues.

Therefore, the experienced campaigners’ enforced absence could hugely affect United’s results and performances as their tricky run of fixtures is set to continue.

And, in other news…Murtough can finally replace Roy Keane in Man Utd swoop for “magnificent” £62k-p/w ace

Article title: Manchester United suffer Raphael Varane injury blow

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