Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has explained why club captain Harry Maguire starts today’s Premier League clash with Arsenal on the substitutes’ bench.
Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane – who is fit again after a three-match injury lay-off – have been given the nod to line up in defence by Rangnick at the Emirates Stadium, with Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles as the full-backs.
Maguire joins Phil Jones, Marcus Rashford and Aaron Wan-Bissaka among today’s nine replacements – all four started the 4-0 defeat at Anfield, as did Paul Pogba who is injured.
Ralf revealed that it was a difficult call deciding who he would pick between Lindelof, Maguire and Varane.
The German admitted that the disturbing news this week regarding threats made to Harry and his family had played a part in his decision.
“I had to make a decision between the three of them”, Ralf told MUTV.
“Only two could play and Harry has had a tough week so I decided to give him a rest and play with Rapha Varane and Victor Lindelof.”
“It’s been a tough season for Harry, to come from what he did at the Euros, which was incredible,” commented ex-United defender Gary Pallister to MUTV. “I think people forget about the two years previously, when he’s been terrific, but I think he’d be the first to say it’s not been his best season.
“With what happened during the week, maybe he’d be better being left at home and just make sure his family is alright. But that’s the call and I’m sure Harry would be behind that call as well.”
Maguire has featured in 28 of United’s 33 Premier League games so far this season.
He missed matches against Everton and Wolves through injury and was an unused sub for the visits to Aston Villa and Brentford in January.
The only other game Harry sat out was our trip to Chelsea in November, when he was suspended.