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What We Know And Tactical Fallout

Manchester United executed a thrilling comeback win against Nottingham Forest but the Raphael Varane injury put a dampener on the proceedings.

The Frenchman was substituted at half-time of the game, with Victor Lindelof coming on in his place.

Here’s what’s known so far about the Raphael Varane injury-

Raphael Varane injury- Story so far

Varane played the first half against Nottingham Forest and didn’t look in any discomfort on the pitch.

However, fans were surprised when Erik ten Hag made the half-time change and brought Lindelof on for him.

In his post-match comments, the manager said that Varane “had complaints” and “we didn’t want to risk him”.

As for the extent of the injury, the Ten Hag remained tight-lipped, insisting that “if it’s really bad, we don’t know, we have to wait”.

The latest Raphael Varane injury comes as a huge blow to the player and the club as well.

Just as the Frenchman was beginning to build up steam in his United career, his injury issues have bit him back.

Amid rumours of a Manchester United exit, Varane had silenced all the noise by publicly affirming his commitment to the club.

His pairing with Lisandro Martinez has been the bedrock of United’s success under Ten Hag, with the side conceding the least goals in the Premier League last season.

This season hasn’t started in the same vein as the defence has faced a lot of shots due to some ill-advised tactics as well as lethargic play.

However, the defence has still fared well, especially Varane, who was United’s top-scorer before the Forest game, such was the wastefulness in attack.

Raphael Varane’s injury will undoubtedly add to Ten Hag’s troubles after Mason Mount’s injury lightened the midfield depth.

United play Arsenal next on September 3 and all eyes will be on Ten Hag’s press conference in the buildup to the game when he talks about Varane’s status.

Fallout of the Raphael Varane injury

Raphael Varane’s injury immediately makes Victor Lindelof the first name on the teamsheet alongside Lisandro Martinez. It might also force United to re-think their stance on Harry Maguire.

Injury to Varane means that Maguire will be the only other right-footed centre-back in the squad besides Lindelof.

Varane’s mix of pace, power, and finesse is unlikely to be replicated by any option. Therefore, just like with the injury to Luke Shaw, Ten Hag will have to plan his whole system around Lindelof playing in place of Varane.

While the Frenchman is a “cover player” in defence, regularly letting Martinez go upfield to engage the attacker high up the pitch while staying back himself to cover up loose balls, Lindelof is a “stopper”, the same as Martinez.

Having two stoppers in defence is not ideal as it opens up the chance for the opposition to play long balls over the top and get in behind one-on-one with the goalkeeper since both defenders go up the pitch.

Therefore, he might have to push his defensive line back by a few meters to account for this tendency of Martinez and LIndelof.

The two negotiated Forests’ attacking threat expertly but Arsenal will be a different game altogether.

Raphael Varane’s injury couldn’t have come at a worse time.

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