Why Raphael Varane is dropped to the bench as Harry Maguire starts against West Ham | Football

Maguire is back in the side after a recent groin injury (Picture: Getty)

Erik ten Hag has opted to rest Raphael Varane for Manchester United’s Premier League clash with West Ham United with Harry Maguire coming into the side.

Maguire appeared set to leave Old Trafford in the summer having been stripped of the club captaincy by Erik ten Hag.

He would eventually remain in Manchester despite an offer from West Ham United, forcing his way back into the side with United’s backline ravaged by injury in the first-half of the season.

The England international was preferred to Varane from September to December, starting nine league games in a row before suffering a groin injury before Christmas.

Varane has been back in the side in his absence, reforming his formidable partnership with Lisandro Martinez in United’s last two games with the Argentina international back after his injury.

But having started in last Sunday’s FA Cup win over Newport County and Thursday’s fightback against Wolves, ten Hag has opted to rest the former France international.

‘He played very good in October, November and December, but then picked up a small injury,’ ten Hag told Sky Sports ahead of kick-off.

Raphael Varane

Varane is among the subs on Sunday afternoon (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s a third game in a week we didn’t want to change too much, but to give Raphael Varane a rest. Varane did well, but it’s the third game in seven days so it is good to make some adjustments.’

It is the only change made by ten Hag on Sunday afternoon with Marcus Rashford also in the starting XI.

After a difficult week where he was fined two weeks’ wages after missing training last week, the 26-year-old opened the scoring with a superb strike at Molineux on Thursday.

‘I think that was a team on the pitch [against Wolves] and from the first whistle to the final it was team on the pitch, he [Rashford] was part of it and he contributed very well and we expect the same today,’ ten Hag said.

‘We know when we play to our maximum levels when we perform and serve our front players they have the ability to score goals.’


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