The 28-year-old English defender sustained a calf injury which has forced him to miss Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Villarreal in a UEFA Champions League group stage game on September 29. He didn’t also play in United’s 1-1 draw with Everton on October 2.
Due to his fitness status, Harry Maguire was not invited to the England national team ahead of the October FIFA international break. So far, his absence is not being missed in the English team as the Three Lions of England recorded a 5-0 victory over Andorra in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday, October 9.
In Maguire’s absence at Manchester United, Raphael Varane who joined the club from Real Madrid on August 14, 2021, for a transfer fee worth €40 million, has been coordinating the club’s defense.
The 28-year-old French defender has played 5 Premier League games and 2 Champions League games since he joined the English club.
After helping France to beat Belgium in the semi-final of the UEFA Nations League on October 7, Raphael Varane was called to duty in the final of the tournament against Spain.
Unfortunately for the former Real Madrid defender, he grabbed his leg and sat on the pitch during the game which was played at San Siro in Italy on Sunday, October 10.
His gesture signaled to France’s bench that he could not continue with the match and forced coach Didier Deschamps to substitute him in the 43rd minute.
Fortunately for France, his absence did not affect the team too much. The country went on to beat Spain 2-1 to win the Nations League trophy.
As it stands, Raphael Varane is expected to return to Manchester United to commence treatment and to start recuperating for the rest of the season.
At the time of publishing this report, Manchester United was yet to release an official statement concerning the defender’s injury.
Just like in the case of Harry Maguire, it is not clear how long it would take Varane to return to match fitness.
If he and Maguire are not fit before October 16, 2021, coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have no choice but to use an alternative defensive combination.
In the absence of Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire, the best center-defense combination left for Solskjaer is Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. Unfortunately, Lindelof and Bailly’s combination is seen as the most unreliable combo at the club.
Manchester United need to beat Leicester City to cement their place in the top four. They are currently sitting on the 4th spot on the Premier League table with 14 points in 7 games, two points below first placed Chelsea, and two points above 7th placed Brentford.