Why Maguire is absent & Ronaldo got captaincy nod over de Gea vs Wolves


Why Harry Maguire is absent & Ronaldo got captaincy nod over de Gea for Man United vs WolvesWhy Harry Maguire is absent & Ronaldo got captaincy nod over de Gea for Man United vs Wolves

 

Manchester united boss Ralf Rangnick has, on Monday, provided an insight into some of the more eye-catching personnel calls in his latest matchday squad.

Wolves test

Rangnick’s men are of course currently locked in action in Manchester.

On the back of a return to winning ways in a 3-1 triumph over Burnley in midweek, the Red Devils have welcomed Bruno Lage’s Wolves to Old Trafford, for a Premier League clash.

The matchup marks a crucial one for United, amid the club’s efforts to secure a top-4 berth.

As things stand, Rangnick and co. sit in 7th spot in the English top-flight, four points adrift of 4th-placed Arsenal, but boasting a pair of games in hand over Mikel Arteta’s men.

Why Harry Maguire is absent & Ronaldo got captaincy nod over de Gea for Man United vs WolvesWhy Harry Maguire is absent & Ronaldo got captaincy nod over de Gea for Man United vs Wolves

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 30: Scott McTominay of Manchester United celebrates with team mate Nemanja Matic after scoring their sides first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Burnley at Old Trafford on December 30, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Maguire latest

As such, it goes without saying that a 2nd successive three-point haul is very much on the agenda for Monday evening’s hosts.

In turn, it no doubt came as a blow to all associated with the club when, in the buildup to kick-off at Old Trafford, word was forthcoming that Ralf Rangnick would be unable to call on a key member of his fist-choice backline.

The player in question? Harry Maguire.

Upon Manchester United’s starting XI to face Wolves being unveiled, English international Maguire was nowhere to be seen, with the additional absences of both Victor Lindelof (Covid) and Eric Bailly (AFCON) having culminated in a first start for almost two years for forgotten man Phil Jones:

Speaking ahead of the action getting underway in Manchester, Ralf Rangnick was therefore inevitably drawn on Maguire’s whereabouts.

And the interim Red Devils boss went on to reveal that his captain was ruled out of this evening’s action owing to a chest problem picked up against Burnley last week:

‘Harry had that knock on his chest against Burnley, we thought he would be good but yesterday it was impossible, he had too much pain when he was standing around and sitting, it was clear it was impossible to play.’

When pressed on his decision to entrust Cristiano Ronaldo with the captain’s armband, rather than long-time United servant David de Gea, meanwhile, Rangnick added:

‘The question was is it David or him, these are the players who have been playing for the longest period of time and I wanted a field player as captain which is why I chose Cristiano.’

 

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 21 40 53
2 Chelsea FC 21 29 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
5 West Ham United 20 10 34
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 18 4 31
8 Brighton & Hove Albion 19 0 27
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 -1 25
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 20 -1 23
12 Brentford FC 19 -3 23
13 Aston Villa 19 -5 22
14 Southampton FC 19 -9 21
15 Everton FC 18 -9 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 18 -14 13
18 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
19 Newcastle United 19 -23 11
20 Norwich City 19 -34 10
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 6
Jorginho Chelsea FC 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 6
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 6



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