Raphael Varane picked up a knock in the first leg of Manchester United’s Europa League quarter-final tie against Sevilla and was initially expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
Reports from The Manchester Evening News suggest that the French international could return to first-team action as soon as 13th May for the Mancunian side’s fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux stadium.
Along with Lissandro Martinez, Varane has been a pivotal figure in United’s defence and has been the leader and organiser of the back-line in the absence of the out of favour Harry Maguire. The Frenchman ranks fourth in the Premier League for the most tackles won this season.
Injuries to both Varane and Martinez have seen the Red Devils struggle for form in recent weeks. United have lost their last two matches in the Premier League against Brighton and West Ham respectively, both by a narrow 1-goal margin.
United looked certain to finish in the top-four but with these back-to-back losses, they have opened up the gates to Liverpool who sit only a point behind in 5th having played a game more.
Erik Ten Hag would appreciate a return of his world-class centre-back to provide some leadership and experience to the team amidst their slump in form of late. Varane also provides better balance to the team as it allows Luke Shaw to return to his favoured left-back spot, as the Englishman has been filling in at centre-back in Varane’s absence.
United have played 58 matches across all competitions this season and have struggled with a lot of injuries in recent weeks as a result of their hectic schedule.
They are hopeful that youngster Alejandro Garnacho can return to full fitness and feature in some of the fixtures before the end of the season. Lissandro Martinez has already been ruled out for the rest of the season and it seems Scott McTominay is also unlikely to feature anymore this season. Donny Van De Beek, Tom Heaton and Phil Jones are the other absentees.
United play Wolves, Bournemouth, Chelsea and Fulham in their remaining four fixtures in the league and will be the favourites going into each of those games especially given that three of those are at Old Trafford.
A finish in the Champions League spots is still in their hands but recent results have certainly made things a lot more interesting as Liverpool wait to pounce at any United failure.