Raphael Varane has taken Erik ten Hag’s decision to drop him from the starting XI a lot better than many would’ve expected.
Manchester United’s position in their Champions League group – 4th with just one win in four games – won’t show it but they are the most in-form team in the Premier League, having won four of their last five fixtures. Much of the credit for this encouraging run of results lies with their backline, which has kept two clean sheets in back-to-back games.
In both of these games – at Fulham and against Luton Town – Jonny Evans partnered Harry Maguire at the heart of the defence. Meanwhile, when Ten Hag was asked the reason behind Varane’s absence from his lineup against Manchester City, the Dutchman surprised fans by claiming that he was not starting because of tactical reasons. The former Ajax coach instead opted to go with 35-year-old Evans alongside the England centre-back.
Most players of the Frenchman’s stature would throw their toys out the pram at such development, but Varane has reportedly respected Ten Hag’s decision, which has been only vindicated by recent results.
As per The Athletic, figures close to the former France international say he has accepted the decision to drop him is a tactical one. Further, there’s a belief that there is always a way back for a player under the United boss, as Maguire’s own return to the side proves.
At the start of the season, Maguire wasn’t considered a viable option to sit on the bench for United, let alone start. The Red Devils were also open to selling him for the right price. However, the Englishman didn’t create any fuss and continued to do his talking in training. Now, we are seeing the results on the pitch.