Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has admitted that Raphael Varane wasn’t outstanding against Newcastle United on Monday.
Man United endured rather a disappointing performance that led to a heartbreaking 1-1 draw at Newcastle, thanks to a second-half equaliser from Edinson Cavani.
Rangnick, who had about 16 days, thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak at Manchester, to set up his team against the Magpies and did so by starting Varane, who only recovered from a long-term muscle injury.
The former Real Madrid defender lost possession of the ball inside United’s own half and the resultant would hand Newcastle United an early lead.
Monday’s draw was Varane’s first game since suffering a hamstring injury against Atalanta in November.
Rangnick blames Varane’s poor display against Newcastle on lack of match fitness as he understands the France international hasn’t played many games in the last three months.
‘Raphael has not played for the last five or six weeks,’ Rangnick said.
‘Even before the Tottenham game he was injured, so in the last three months, he hasn’t played that many games.
‘Yes, he made a mistake before the first goal we conceded but apart from that I think he was okay. I wouldn’t say he was outstanding, the same with Harry [Maguire], but he did okay.”
Manchester United will host Burnley at Old Trafford on Thursday in the Premier League and it’s uncertain if Rangnick would start Varane against the Clarets, now that he has delayed Eric Bailly’s travel for the AFCON.