Ferdinand praises Raphael Varane's partnership with Lisandro Martinez

Rio Ferdinand claims Raphael Varane’s partnership with Lisandro Martinez has transformed Manchester United, as he admits the France star will be a ‘huge loss’ after suffering injury at Chelsea

  • Rio Ferdinand has praised Raphael Varane’s partnership with Lisandro Martinez
  • He said Manchester United will struggle without Varane during the World Cup
  • Ferdinand said Varane brings ‘speed, experience and physicality’ to the team
  • Varane could be out of the World Cup after sustaining an injury against Chelsea

Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Raphael Varane’s partnership with Lisandro Martinez and said that Manchester United could struggle to maintain their unbeaten run without the France international.

The Red Devils secured a draw against Chelsea on Saturday night but lost their star defender, Varane, to injury after he was forced off the pitch just under the 60-minute mark.

Ferdinand has said Varane – who is now touch-and-go for November’s World Cup –  will be a ‘huge loss’ for Erik ten Hag and his United squad as he brings ‘speed, experience and physicality’ to the team.  

Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Raphael Varane’s partnership with Lisandro Martinez

Varane (left) and Martinez (right) pictured playing for United against Leicester in September 

If Varane is deemed fit enough, he will attend the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Therefore, the France international will miss between three to four weeks of action with Manchester United.

If Varane is ruled out injured, he will still miss a string of games for the Red Devils as he undergoes a rehab programme for the injury he sustained against Chelsea on Saturday evening.

Ferdinand has said Victor Lindelof and Martinez will do a ‘good job’ of filling in for Varane but said the 29-year-old provides the ‘speed, experience and physicality’ United need to thrive. 

Ferdinand says Varane (right) brings ‘speed, experience and physicality’ to the United team

Therefore, Ferdinand has said Varane’s absence will be a ‘huge loss’ for Erik ten Hag and his Manchester United squad. 

Speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: ‘It seems to me that it isn’t going to be Harry Maguire who comes in now. It looks like it’s going to be [Victor] Lindelof.’

The former footballer and BT Sport pundit went on to say: ‘Lindelof is decent, I think he will come in and do a job, it just depends how long he’s being asked to do that job.’

Varane left the pitch in tears with injury that puts his place at the World Cup in doubt

He was in clear discomfort on the pitch and immediately went down after injuring his leg

‘Martinez has been top this season but Varane gives us that something different, that speed, that experience and physicality,’ Ferdinand continued. ‘I think he could be a huge loss. 

‘You need them two [Varane and Martinez] back together. We’ve seen straight away that those two together make us a different team, it’s as simple as that.’ 

However, Varane’s place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar could be under threat as he left the pitch in tears after fewer than 60 minutes against Chelsea on Saturday night.

Varane looked to have injured his upper leg when trying to cut out a pass to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Varane (pictured above) received immediate help from his team-mates after going down

The French centre-back was devastated given the World Cup is under a month away

The 29-year-old lunged out with his right foot away from his body to try to stretch towards the ball and cut off the attack.

However, his attempts to stifle the threat left him in a heap in visible pain after the impact of planting his foot in the ground seemed to jar his knee.

The French international required immediate treatment and was in evident discomfort, before being substituted for Lindelof. 

The nature and extent of Varane’s injury are still unconfirmed. As a result, France manager Didier Deschamps will be left sweating over his fitness. 

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