Is Raphael Varane the fourth choice at Manchester United? – Man United news and transfer news

Raphael Varane stayed in Manchester as his teammates lined up to start against Brighton boarded the plane to Oslo today.

While he may be one of the players rumored to be injured or unwell, journalist Samuel Luckhurst has pointed to the Frenchman’s preseason as a “steep fall”.

Harry Maguire has retained the captaincy and is likely to start alongside Erik ten Hag’s £55million signing Lisandro Martinez.

And with Victor Lindelof starting games for Varane on tour, Luckhurst believes the club’s most decorated defender is now fourth-choice at the center of the squad.

It should be noted that Varane was dealt a blow during Liverpool’s match in Bangkok, which kicked off the tour.

However, once he was available for selection, he was only reinstated against Aston Villa in the second half.

It could be argued that, given that he’s had just 68 minutes of football this summer (excluding the behind-the-door affair against Wrexham), it’s only natural that he should be sidelined again.

But as availability was the main concern regarding the World Cup winner last season, pointing to his fitness as an excuse may miss the point slightly.

Most managers strive for consistency in selecting their backline and Ten Hag’s history suggests he is no different in that regard.

Building a winning team from the back depends on the regular availability of your defenders and Varane has yet to reach a level of fitness that has shown him a consistent run in the side at best.

Biped and collected, the four-time Champions League winner should be perfect for Ten Hag, but he will need to prove his availability before he can challenge the incumbents in his position.

Luckhurst considers Maguire “extremely fortunate to have retained his captaincy and starting place” and implies that he may struggle to keep them.

With a player of Varane’s class breathing his neck in, he certainly won’t get away with last season’s level of performance.

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