Rio Ferdinand says Manchester United star’s head is ‘scrambled’ after losing place

The decorated defender has been benched for United's last five league games.

Rio Ferdinand says Manchester United star’s head is ‘scrambled’ after losing place
Rio Ferdinand says Raphael Varane's head is 'scrambled'
Raphael Varane has been benched for United’s last five league games (Pictures: Getty / FIVE)

Rio Ferdinand believes Raphael Varane’s head will be ‘scrambled’ over Erik ten Hag’s decision to drop him from Manchester United’s starting XI in favour of Jonny Evans.

The Frenchman, a £40million signing in 2021, has long been one of the first names on the team sheet when fit but has dramatically fallen down the pecking order in recent weeks, with Evans, Victor Lindelof and even the previously exiled Harry Maguire all picked ahead of him.

There had been suggestions Varane might have fallen out with Ten Hag, though the Dutchman played down any suggestions of a wider issue with the Real Madrid star and said it was purely a ‘tactical’ decision.

Ferdinand, though, is not convinced and, despite being a big fan of veteran Evans, feels Varane will be at a loss to explain how he has lost his place to the 35-year-old.

Asked what is going on with Varane, Ferdinand said on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube show: ‘We don’t know. If he’s on the bench, you think he must be fit.

‘In my mind, when you’re on the bench you can play – because you could have to come on in the first minute if someone gets injured.

‘So if you’re fit enough to travel and get on the bench, you’re fit [to play]. So I don’t know what the reason is.

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane
Varane is no longer United’s first-choice centre-back (Picture: Getty)

‘But I know that Varane is waking up and his head has got scramblers going off it in, because he’s thinking: “I’ve banged out five Champions League medals, I’ve played an integral part in all of those, I’ve played with the best players in the world, I’ve come to Man United and Jonny Evans is starting in front of me!”

‘No disrespect [to Evans]. Regardless of what Evans has done, there is no way Jonny Evans was ever in Varane’s mind. He would never have been thinking about Jonny Evans.’

When it was suggested that Evans cannot believe he is now back at Old Trafford playing for United, Ferdinand added: ‘[He thought he would] go back to West Brom or something, Coventry or somewhere like that.

‘I’d love to be Jonny Evans now, because knowing what he’s seen back in the day and having that insight now and seeing it now.’

Asked if there is an issue between himself and Varane, Ten Hag said last week: ‘Absolutely not. As I said, it is about tactical reasons why I chose these partnerships. I think Harry and Jonny did well.

‘What I said last year, Harry didn’t play a lot, so I was very happy with Rapha’s performances. I have always been happy with his performance. But in this moment, Harry is playing very well and there is internal competition.’

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