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Erik ten Hag has three Manchester United priorities over the international break: injuries, Raphael Varane’s decision, and Antony’s form.

Over the next two weeks, a number of Man United players will be traveling to play for their national teams, but Erik ten Hag still has a lot of work to do back at Carrington.

Manchester United didn’t put up an impressive display on Saturday, but Erik ten Hag can at least take some positive momentum into the international break.

Victor Lindelof’s brilliant goal just beyond the hour mark gave United a 1-0 victory over Luton Town, making him the fourth defender to leave the field as a match-winner for the team this season. Although it came either before or after a 4-3 loss in Copenhagen, it was their second straight Premier League victory at zero.

Lindelof is among several United players who will be departing for international duty, which will be their third such break of the season. However, even as he, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, and others depart to represent their nations, Ten Hag still has plenty to do at home.

Considering how strongly the Dutchman advocated for United to spend £86 million on the winger last summer, Antony’s form is among his main worries. He has made 12 appearances in all competitions without scoring a goal, and he has been benched for the previous two games.

Antony will stay at Carrington after being left out of the Brazil team for their next World Cup qualifying match. He and Ten Hag both need those goal contributions to begin to come in, or otherwise the criticism of his play will simply intensify.

Raphael Varane is another veteran player from the previous season who hasn’t played much in recent weeks. For the majority of Ten Hag’s first season, he and Lisandro Martinez were a formidable combination, but due to tactical changes and Harry Maguire’s comeback, the French defender is now playing on the periphery.

Maguire is currently outperforming Ten Hag in a straight shootout on the right side of defense, and Ten Hag has expressed his desire for defenders to be able to play out of the back naturally. Varane’s loss of his starting position is not likely to cause a stir, but it is crucial to take care of the matter while there is still time.

Despite playing with ten men, Ten Hag may not have wanted this international break to arrive, considering that it has come after two victories and a positive showing in Copenhagen. However, it will be beneficial for individuals recovering from injuries because it will relieve some pressure.

Following their withdrawals from the Denmark team against Luton on Monday, Christian Eriksen and Rasmus Hojlund both left the team, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka was unable to play due to illness. Ten Hag is hoping that all three will be available at Everton during the two-week break.

Luke Shaw, who has been out since August due to a muscle problem, may possibly make a quick comeback following the international break. He will be a welcomed returnee, having been one of Ten Hag’s most reliable players the previous campaign.

Even the most upbeat United fans are aware of the issues that still exist despite the team’s strong start to the fortnightly break. There is still a lot of space for growth in every area, and Ten Hag has a busy winter schedule coming up, so this break is a unique opportunity to work out some bigger problems.

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