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. Luke Shaw may return, however.
The 28-year old has been a key player for Red Devils since his move from Leicester City. His absence will leave Manchester United vulnerable at their 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 for tomorrow to see if Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly, French international partners, play at the back. Phil Jones will not be allowed to start for the club, as he is still working towards 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 did not give a time frame for the injury, but he believes Maguire will need to rest for a few weeks.
“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 out more or less. 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.
The Red Devils will be missing Maguire’s leadership qualities, as well as his defensive skills.