Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has said that Ralf Rangnick’s appointment might lead to the end of Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic’s careers at Manchester United.
Rangnick has been handed a six-and-a-half month contract as interim manager, after which he will take on a consultancy role for two years. Kevin Campbell opined that both Mason Greenwood and the Dutch midfielder Donny Van De Beek might benefit from Rangnick’s appointment.
He thought the same about Jesse Lingard, but said that Anthony Martial’s playing style might not be conducive to Rangnick’s pressing system. However, Campbell thinks the appointment might be the final nail in the coffin for Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic:
“It might be the death knell for the Juan Mata’s of this world and people like that… Nemanja Matic. It might be the end for them.”
Both players have had opportunities difficult to come by this season, although Matic started in the recent draw at then-league leaders Chelsea.
Ralf Rangick’s appointment could lead to wholesale changes at Manchester United
Manchester United fans have been clamouring for changes at the club. Erstwhile manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got rid of a fair share of deadwood. However, the current squad also has many players who are not expected to have a long-term role at the club.
Phil Jones leads the list, although his injury woes have earned him some sympathy from a section of the Old Trafford faithful. However, Jones has been a passenger for many years now. Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic are two experienced players who are key to the dressing room, but do not add too much to the squad anymore.
Meanwhile, in Anthony Martial, Manchester United have a player they have been patient with for a few years now. However, his lethargic displays and one-dimensional attacking has been highly frustrating.
Erstwhile manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was able to eke out an explosive three quarters of a season from Martial. But it is difficult to imagine the Frenchman being a regular player in a high-pressing system at United under Rangnick.
Ralf Rangnick famously commented on Luke Shaw not being good enough for Manchester United. After consistently impressive performances at the club and at the Euros, he is back at Manchester United. However, he is another player who might not feature regularly under Rangnick.
Finally, Harry Maguire has done nothing this season to justify continuing as club captain. Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard reportedly has his heart set on a move away. Lingard can be forgiven for that, as he still has a fair chance of making a return to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
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Ralf Rangnick’s job at Manchester United goes far deeper than just tactical transformation, though. He will need to help his players perform at a high level, and get rid of ones that struggle to perform in his system.