Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag got big injury boost before Sheriff

With Raphael Varane out until after the World Cup, news of Harry Maguire’s return from injury represents a huge boost for Manchester United. The England international has not featured for the Red Devils since their 2-0 win over Sheriff on 15 September. And with the 29-year-old now back in contention, it couldn’t have come at a better time…

Manchester United will go into tonight’s game with Sheriff looking to increase their chances of going top. The Red Devils have won three of their Europa League games so far, with a 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad on the same night as Queen Elizabeth II’s death the only blemish on their record.

United have started to improve of late, with impressive performances from the team in recent Premier League clashes against Tottenham and Chelsea.

They drew 1-1 with the Blues at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night, with Varane forced out of the game with injury.

Erik ten Hag has since confirmed that the 2018 World Cup winner will not be around for the foreseeable future, saying: “Rapha Varane is not in the squad, so he will be out, certainly until the World Cup, for what will not play in this block for United Man.

“I think so (he will be fit for the World Cup), but the prognosis, we have to wait and see how it plays out, how his rehabilitation plays out.”

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At a time when Varane is out through injury, Maguire’s imminent return gives United a boost.

Ten Hag confirmed that he is back in training following a hamstring injury and has backed the 29-year-old, whose stock has fallen in recent times.

“He (Maguire) always has a big role, he was injured, happy on his own way back and now he has to get back into games,” he said.

“I understand the interest (in Maguire), but we look especially at Man United, we have to get the right results and performances, that’s the main target I have to look at.”

“It’s always about performance, presentation and I think, regarding his qualities, when he performs like that, there’s no problem, he’s a great player and a great ability to do a job for us.”

Maguire had a difficult start to the season for United.

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It was dismal as the club shipped six Premier League goals in opening defeats to Brighton and Brentford, at Old Trafford and the Gtech Community Stadium respectively.

But Maguire’s return to the fold is welcome news for United.

They have relied so much on Lisandro Martinez this term, with the Argentina international going from strength to strength following his summer arrival from Ajax.

However, Maguire will give United another option in defence, while allowing Ten Hag to rest Martinez and Victor Lindelof if needed.

The former Leicester star, in his day, is one of the best centre-backs on the planet.

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Although it has struggled for the last 12 months, under the management of Ten Hag, Ralf Rangnick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it is still too early to write it off as a failure.

Maguire was good during his first two years at United. He was often missed when he was sidelined, particularly towards the end of the 2020/2021 season.

And as matches start to come faster and faster, Ten Hag will be hoping his skipper can figure out the form of yesteryear and claim a starting spot.

Meanwhile, speaking to Sheriff before the match, the United manager also confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo was available for re-selection.

The 37-year-old missed the draw with Chelsea after coming off with flying colors in their 2-0 win over Tottenham days earlier.


And Ten Hag said, “It’s not difficult, but I think we set everything up and answered all the questions.

“So he was out for one game and now he’s back on the team as usual.”

He added: “I will not answer any more.

“So all the questions, I think everything that we covered last week, everything that we explained, so we have to focus on tomorrow’s game.

“We have an important game because we want to be number one in the group, so let’s focus on that.”

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