Manchester United manager Eric Ten Hag has lauded Raphael Varane and stated that Harry Maguire will not play only because he is the captain.
Maguire, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, was rested against Liverpool last Monday. Varane instead paired Lisandro Martinez in the center of defense.
“His profile, his stature or what he won already in the past shows he can really contribute to this team,” Ten Hag said of France defender Varane.
“For the team there’s competition and we need that. We have to cover so many games and we can do that in several constructions and we can see from game to game what we need.”
The Dutch coach added: “We have options and [with] Varane his stature is immense.”
“I say that doesn’t mean when you are captain that you are established to play always, especially not when you also have Varane in your squad,” he added.
Maguire started Manchester United’s first two games of the season, losing 2-1 at home to Brighton and then 4-0 at Brentford.
The 29-year-old was booed during a pre-season friendly with Crystal Palace in Australia because of his dismal play last season.
Ten Hag has already named Maguire as his captain for the season, but he has underlined that this does not guarantee him a starting spot.