Raphael Varane theory raised on latest Man Utd starting line-up snub

Raphael Varane’s latest omission from Manchester United’s starting line-up is further evidence for Richard Keys that there must be a “major issue” between the defender and Erik ten Hag. United’s impressive third-place finish in the league last season was largely due to their strong defensive record with both Varane and Lisandro Martinez the go-to pairing at the back.

The pair started this season together once again as Ten Hag’s favoured option, but injuries to both of them forced Ten Hag to change things up. Harry Maguire was brought in from the cold while Victor Lindelof has now become the favoured option alongside the England international in the league.

Varane’s last league start came in United’s 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace and he’s now been named on the bench for four top flight matches in a row. Ten Hag has rubbished any suggestion that Varane’s omission from the starting line-up is due to a falling out between the pair.

But Keys can’t think of any other reason why the United boss would be leaving out the experienced Frenchman.

“No matter how they dress it up and how many denials there are coming out of Manchester United, there is clearly a major issue between Raphael Varane and the coach,” Keys said on beIN SPORTS. “All he had to do in order to accommodate Varane is move Maguire back to a position he’s comfortable in and put Varane back in on the right hand side.

“But oh no no, he’s called up Lindelof.” Varane has seen Jonny Evans start ahead of him in recent weeks, but Ten Hag indicates that it has been Maguire who is currently keeping the France international out of the side.

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“It’s about tactical reasons why I choose these partnerships,” Ten Hag explained. “I think Harry and Jonny did quite well.

“Last year, Harry didn’t play a lot so I was very happy with Raphael’s performance and I have always been happy with his performances. But at this moment Harry is playing very good and there is internal competition.”

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