Manchester United has lost another important player in defence. It is confirmed that Raphael Varane will be out of action for at least six weeks after being replaced by Lindelof at halftime in the win against Nottingham Forest. The French centre-back will miss crucial Premier League games, including this weekend’s clash versus Arsenal.
Manager Erik Ten Hag said this about Varane and the reason for his early substitution during the game on Saturday:
"“He had complaints. We didn’t want to risk him. I don’t know if it is bad. We have to wait”."
Since arriving at Manchester United, Raphael Varane has had nine injuries, being out for 147 days, which means he has missed 34 games due to injuries, without adding the recent one against Nottingham Forest.
Erik Ten Hag has lost a crucial player; now he has to figure out what the lineup against Arsenal will be. Lisandro Martinez will be the other centre back, but the question is: which player will play along with Martinez?
The Dutch coach has three alternatives: The first is putting Victor Lindelöf in the team, as he did against Nottingham Forest. Lindelof seems to be the safe and better option in this case for Ten Hag, having took the role of deputising Lisandro well in the final months of last season.
The second alternative is putting Harry Maguire, who is set to stay at United, after rejecting the offer from West Ham United and most recently United blocking a late departure. This will give him the ultimate opportunity to fight for his place at United and inadvertently his place for England at Euro 2024.
The last alternative is Jonny Evans, who has not yet been confirmed as having signed a one year contract with the club. The injury to Varane should speed that process up. Evans initially signed for United on a short term contract across pre-season after impressing Ten Hag in training.
Raphael Varane joins the long list of injured players at United. Some players on that list are Luke Shaw, Mason Mount, Tyrell Malacia, Amad Diallo, Rasmus Højlund, Tom Heaton, and Kobbie Mainoo.