Manchester United have been dealt a massive injury blow ahead of their Champions League clash against Villarreal.
According to the Athletic, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that defender Harry Maguire is sidelined with a calf injury. However, Luke Shaw could return.
The 28-year-old has been a key player for the Red Devils since his big-money move from Leicester City and his absence will leave Manchester United vulnerable at the back.
The Premier League giants signed Raphael Varane in the summer and the Frenchman is likely to lead the defensive unit in the absence of the England international.
It will be interesting to see whether the French international partners Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly at the back tomorrow. It is unlikely that Phil Jones will be given an opportunity to start for the club given the fact that he is still working on his match fitness.
Swedish international Lindelof seems the most likely candidate to partner Varane at the heart of Manchester United’s defence against Villarreal.
Apart from Wednesday’s Champions League clash, Maguire could miss the upcoming Premier League games against Everton, Leicester City and Liverpool as well.
Solskjaer has not provided a definite time frame on the injury but he believes that the defender will need a few weeks to recover.
“Luke has been in today, I’ll give him a chance to be involved (against Villarreal),” Solskjaer confirmed.
“He didn’t train with the rest of the team. Harry is more or less definitely out. It’s his calf. That might take a few weeks.”
United struggled defensively against Young Boys in their Champions League group opener and it remains to be seen whether they can cope without Maguire over the next few weeks.
Apart from his defensive skills, the Red Devils are likely to miss his leadership qualities as well.