Rangnick defends Maguire, Fred and McTominay before Leicester clash

Ralf Rangnick has spoken to the media and given a team news update before Manchester United’s clash with Leicester.

Rangnick was asked about the booing that Harry Maguire got from his own fans as England beat Eric Bailly’s Ivory Coast 3-0 at Wembley on Tuesday night.

The German defended his captain and also spoke about the criticism that Fred and Scott McTominay have had during their time in a red shirt.

He also told club media that Fred and countrymen Alex Telles are available to face Leicester today despite long trips on international duty.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

“He’s been a very valuable player and the captain of the team and the club and he is also my captain. I didn’t understand what was going on actually at Wembley, but I’m pretty sure this will not happen in our stadium with the Red Army behind the team and the club, and also behind their captain,” said Rangnick of Maguire.

“For me, he’s a very important player, he’s been playing well for Manchester United and for England in the last couple of years. I don’t think that this is a personal thing, it hasn’t got anything to do with Harry himself. We all know there were one or two other players who have been criticised in the last, not only months but also the last one or two years. 

“Fred, for me, a very important player for this team, a very valuable player, regularly playing in the starting XI for Brazil. He played in the first game from the start and did well. Maybe people just tend to compare with former legends or former big players. Fred, also Scotty and Harry, they are important players and players with the right attitude.”

In a separate interview, he said: “They all seem to be fit. The only player who is injured is Edinson Cavani. He will be out for a couple of weeks, four weeks, maybe five weeks. [Fred and Telles] flew back directly after the game. By today, they should have overcome any jet-lag problems and are available.”

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Fred missed the reverse fixture in October after international duty and that was the only Premier League game where he was not in the matchday squad between the start of the season and testing positive for Covid in February.

Perhaps that defeat and the abject nature of it at the King Power Stadium underlined his importance to the side on a day when the Foxes ran rings around Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba.

Fred will expect to play here despite his gruelling international exertions, while Luke Shaw may be fit to come in for Telles, having played in both of England’s recent wins.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.