“Spoke to Cristiano”- Rangnick gives injury update on four Man United stars who missed Villa tie

Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick delivers injury update on four key stars who were absent in the Aston Villa victory

Speaking before the game to MUTV, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News, Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick revealed that four of his key stars had minor injury problems going into the game against Aston Villa.

The Red Devils picked up their first victory of 2022 against the Villans at Old Trafford in the Third Round of the FA Cup. A header by Scott McTominay was enough to seal the win, but there were some concerns ahead of the game.

Cristiano RonaldoHarry MaguireJadon Sancho, and Phil Jones were missing from the squad. The quartet started against Wolves, courtesy of which it was a surprise to see them omitted from the squad.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho had muscular problems ahead of the game against Aston Villa.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho had muscular problems ahead of the game against Aston Villa. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images )

However, Rangnick cleared the confusion before the game and explained that all four stars were suffering from muscular problems.

“I spoke to Cristiano yesterday before training, and he said he’d had some problems for the last couple of days, minor spine problems. We decided it would make more sense not to take any risks in a cup game that could last 120 minutes. With Phil Jones, he is having some minor problems with his calf. In a cup game tonight, it does not make any sense. 

With Jadon, he was supposed to be in the squad. He had some issues with hamstring on both sides, so it does not make sense to take any risks. He is (Maguire) still suffering a little bit from his rib contusion. I hope to have him back for Saturday but for tonight he was not available.”

Need to return for Saturday

Although each player in the quartet has minor injury concerns, it is pivotal that they return for the Saturday fixture. Ronaldo, in particular, needs to come back as soon as possible. Our attackers were defensively brilliant in the FA Cup tie but were just as horrid going forward.

Mason Greenwood never worried Emiliano Martinez while Marcus Rashford looks out of form. Edinson Cavani found it hard to get on the end of a counter-attack or set himself up for a goal-scoring chance. Bruno Fernandes led the press from the front but could never conjure something meaningful in front of goal.

Phil Jones and Harry Maguire  had minor injury concerns in the past week.
Phil Jones and Harry Maguire had minor injury concerns in the past week. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

It showcased the importance of Ronaldo in the team and how vital his desire to score goals is. Similarly, it would be great to have Maguire and Jones back from their injury concerns. Rangnick tried out a back-three formation against Villa, and it worked well. The introduction of another centre-back instead of Shaw could allow the left-back to play in a wing-back area, thereby benefiting us even more. 

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Sancho might not be a perfect fit for this system but a little bit of tinkering could see his strengths shine and his weaknesses vanish. Regardless, it would be good to have a fully-fit squad again as we are set to travel to Villa Park on the weekend to complete the double in a matter of days against the Steven Gerrard-led side.

We will often have selection headaches, but that is why a strong squad is there for. We are also in January, so if Rangnick feels like he needs to add a couple of players, then now is the time- after all, quality new additions are always welcome at the club.