Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag decided to substitute Raphael Varane against Nottingham Forest due to fitness concerns
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has revealed that Raphael Varane may have picked up an injury during their 3-2 victory against Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Despite Forest scoring two goals in the opening four minutes, United managed a remarkable comeback, with goals from Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, and Bruno Fernandes.
However, the Red Devils had an injury scare as Varane was substituted and replaced by Victor Lindelof at half-time.
The Swedish star stepped into the lineup alongside Lisandro Martinez and played well, contributing to the team’s defensive stability.
Given the French centre-back’s history of dealing with injuries at United, Ten Hag made the decision to substitute him.
Following the match, the Dutch boss was asked to explain the reason behind Varane’s substitution. As quoted by the club’s official website, the gaffer replied by saying:
“He had complaints. So we didn’t want to risk him. We know we have Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, good replacements. So we don’t take the risk, but what the complaint is and if it is really bad, we don’t know. We have to wait.”
Lindelof performed admirably as a replacement, but the fans will hope that Varane’s injury isn’t severe, considering the crucial match against Arsenal on the horizon.
Missing the 30-year-old for that game would pose a huge problem for Ten Hag’s team.
The former Real Madrid star has a full week to recover, but it’s likely that unless he’s fully fit, Ten Hag won’t risk him against in-form attackers like Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.
While Harry Maguire is also available, he has seen reduced playing time this season. If Varane is unavailable, the manager will probably rely on the partnership of Lindelof and Martinez for the upcoming weekend.
The exact extent of the World Cup-winning defender’s injury will only become clear when the players return to Carrington on Monday.
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If Varane’s injury turns out to be serious, he will join a growing list of players in United’s treatment room. The fans wouldn’t be happy to see another key starting XI player biting the dust so early into the season.