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Raphael Varane statistic emerges as Erik ten Hag told Man United dressing room ‘happier’ with defender starting



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Raphael Varane started for the first time in over two months as Manchester United lost out 1-0 against Bayern Munich.

The Champions League clash, which led to United’s exit from European competition, was not one where any player stood out for the right reasons.

However, Varane returned to the side and performed well in the left centre-back role – a role that Erik ten Hag has stated he doesn’t like the Frenchman playing.

It’s a battle between Varane and Harry Maguire for the right centre-back spot as the manager believes they are not good enough with their weaker foot to build the play from the left side.

However, Varane looked comfortable enough with his left against Bayern Munich, and one statistic from last season has emerged, making Ten Hag’s decision seem even more confusing.

According to StatsBomb, Varane was the most two-footed player in the Premier League last term. He played 422 passes with his left foot and 539 with his right.

The defender’s best attribute is his box defending, and that was on show in moments against the Bundesliga champions too. But he’s not poor with the ball at his feet, and United aren’t amazing in build-up without him.

Rio Ferdinand believes that Varane is a player who will help build confidence in the United backline, suggesting that he needs to continue to start games.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that [United] players will be looking around the tunnel, and will be happier seeing a fit Raphael Varane in their team,” he told TNT Sports.

Varane is set to start against Liverpool after Harry Maguire came off injured against Bayern.