Gary Neville is worried that Man Utd have a “big problem” at centre-back ahead of their return to Premier League action against Nottingham Forest.
The Red Devils started with Brazil midfielder Casemiro alongside Victor Lindelof in central defence on Wednesday night as Erik ten Hag’s side beat Championship leaders Burnley 2-0 in the Carabao Cup last 16.
Raphael Varane was injured in the World Cup final, while Lisandro Martinez has been given an extended break after his involvement in the same fixture.
And Man Utd legend Neville reckons the Red Devils could be in trouble against Nottingham Forest on December 27 if Harry Maguire is still missing through illness.
Neville told Sky Sports: “They look like they’ve got a big problem at centre back. Martínez looks like he’s going to be at least a couple of weeks, Varane obviously he was injured and you don’t know when he’s going to come back, and if Harry Maguire’s ill they’re going to go potentially with a really weakened defence into those Premier League games.
“I think if they had been playing against a Premier League team tonight they would have been punished, so they’ve got to get some players back quickly.”
Ten Hag was “pleased” with his side’s performance against Burnley ahead of their first Premier League match after the World Cup.
The Dutch boss said: “It’s always difficult after an international break, and especially when they are five weeks not playing together. I don’t think this team ever played together that we put on the pitch (against Burnley).
“But they play along our principles of football and I’m pleased with the performance, and of course with the win. We scored two goals, I think we have to score many more goals, a clean sheet, although we created also some good chances for them I would say.
“But we know from this point we have to step up, we have to do better because we have great ambitions. You have to do better against Forest, that’s clear.”
There have been rumours that Man Utd right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka could leave in the January transfer window with several clubs taking an interest in his services.
Wan-Bissaka made his first start of the season against Burnley on Wednesday and Ten Hag is optimistic about the defender’s future at the club.
Ten Hag added: “It’s clear, he has a future.
“He had some good years here at Man United, but from the start this season he had a lot of illnesses and injuries.
“From the restart on, he’s fit, he could train with the team, and you see him progressing. His fitness level is getting better, his performance level is getting better and I’m really happy with his performance (against Burnley).
“If you then give an assist, especially the way he gave an assist, his movement in the right moment, the timing, great pass of course from Bruno, but the assist is great… So I’m happy with his performance, he did good.”
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