Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has been urged to drop central defender Raphael Varane, accused of being “terrible” since moving to Old Trafford from Real Madrid
Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has been urged to drop central defender Raphael Varane, who has been accused of being “terrible” since his switch to Old Trafford.
The France international moved to United this summer in a £41million deal from Real Madrid, where he was a vital part of the first team over the course of a decade.
Varane won four Champions League titles during his time in the Spanish capital alongside lifting the World Cup for France in 2018 before moving to United last summer.
However, former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood has claimed that the Frenchman should not be in United’s strongest line-up ahead of captain Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.
The comments are likely to raise eyebrows among United supporters and onlookers, with Varane appearing to provide a calming influence in the side’s defence amid an error-strewn campaign by teammates.
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However, Sherwood has been left unimpressed by the defender’s efforts in English football and believes that United are a better side when Varane is not involved.
Former Spurs and Aston Villa boss Sherwood, who had an unsuccessful stint as sporting director at Swindon Town, has called on United interim boss Rangnick to make the call and exclude Varane from his strongest line-up.
“It’s about the best partnership with centre-backs. Harry Maguire is better with Victor Lindelof,” the former Premier League manager said on Sky Sports during their Soccer Saturday coverage.
“If we talk about Raphael Varane, he’s got off the hook because he’s been terrible. He’s been terrible since coming to the club.
“You’ve got Maguire who wants to defend the halfway line and Varane who wants to defend up there, so they’re not level with each other.
“When Lindelof played the other night [in the 2-0 win over Brighton], United looked better, they looked better with those two.
“It’s about finding the best partnership but then the manager has to be strong and leave out a player who’s won the Champions League and the World Cup.”
Sherwood, who has become a pundit on the Premier League in the five years since his last involvement within the sport, made his comments amid increased scrutiny on the role of Varane’s central defensive partner Maguire at Old Trafford.
The England international has endured a difficult campaign at United with his position as the club’s captain under the spotlight in recent weeks.
However, Rangnick insisted on Friday that Maguire’s position as club captain would not change this season and the situation had not been a matter of discussion.
“This is absolute nonsense – I’ve never spoken with players about captaincy,” the German explained during a press conference.
“It has never been an issue with me. Harry is our captain and will stay our captain.”
Maguire and Varane are United’s preferred central defensive partnership, with Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones other options in the position.