Man Utd boss Solskjaer 'ready to use surprise duo as makeshift centre-backs' in new system

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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly considering a change of formation after losing Raphael Varane to injury for several weeks. The Norwegian is hoping to call upon captain Harry Maguire when his side return to action at Leicester this afternoon but the England defender has had injury struggles of his own.

Maguire had initially pencilled in the Leicester match as his potential return date but he is not believed to be fully fit ahead of the meeting with his old side.

The former Foxes man was back out training on the grass yesterday as he strived to offer Solskjaer a late boost ahead of the trip to the East Midlands.

Varane picked up a groin injury in France’s Nations League triumph over Spain in Italy last week.

But rather than dwell on the negatives, Solskjaer was pleased to see Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly get minutes during the international break with Sweden and Ivory Coast respectively.

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It’s a role Shaw has played before with his qualities well suited to the left side of a back-three.

The change of formation could cause further complications to Solskjaer’s managerial headache in attack with the United boss struggling to keep everybody happy.

Competition is fierce at the top end of the pitch following the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho. Marcus Rashford is also now fully fit following a persistent shoulder issue.

United have predominantly used a 4-2-3-1 system in recent years, particularly since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January 2020.

Solskjaer has shaped his team around the Portuguese attacking midfielder and his influence on the side has prevented a formation change in recent times.

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There was some suggestion earlier this summer that United could look to change permanently to three at the back when Kieran Trippier was under consideration.

The capture of the Atletico Madrid and England full-back could have seen Aaron Wan-Bissaka move backwards and onto the right side of a three-man defence.

Trippier has played in the wing-back role for both Atletico and the Three Lions and his crossing ability would have presented United with a new attacking threat going forward.

Wan-Bissaka’s reading of the game, recovery tackles and speed across the turf could see him flourish alongside Varane and Maguire if Solskjaer was to switch up his starting XI.

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