Incoming Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick already has a head-start on two of Arsenal’s big threats in what could be his first game in charge.
The German has of course been confirmed as United’s new interim manager, with Rangnick taking charge until the end of the current season before moving into a consultancy role on a two-year deal.
Rangnick’s arrival is subject to work visa requirements, with no exact date given as to when he’ll officially begin work at Old Trafford.
Michael Carrick, who led United against Villarreal and Chelsea following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking, will remain in charge until Rangnick’s visa is finalised.
The earliest the 63-year-old could take charge is against Arsenal on Thursday night, with Mikel Arteta bringing his side to Old Trafford as they look to extend their five-point advantage over United in the Premier League.
But, should Rangnick be in place in time for the visit of the Gunners, he’ll already have an upper hand on his first opponents.
He managed rising Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe for a short spell during his time in charge of RB Leipzig, with the England international leaving a good impression during his time on loan.
“He’s shown in training why we took him on loan,” Rangnick said back in 2019. “He’s got a brilliant mixture of good physique, speed and an unbelievably good shooting technique.”
Such was Smith-Rowe’s impact while in Germany that Rangnick made it clear he wanted to secure another loan for him, only for the youngster to head to Huddersfield Town instead.
Rangnick will no doubt have kept an eye on his development though, and he isn’t the only Arsenal player he’ll have paid close attention to.
The new United boss has previously heaped praise on Gunners left-back Kieran Tierney, having claimed the Scotland international was ‘one of the biggest talents in Europe’ during his time at Celtic.
Speaking back in 2019, he said: “Tierney, McGregor and Edouard are great talents in Scottish football.
“Tierney in particular is one of the biggest talents in Europe. He can defend and he likes to go forward.
“Those three are good players but Celtic are well known for not letting players go for a bargain."
Regardless of whether he’s in the dugout or not on Thursday, Rangnick will no doubt have a big influence against Arsenal, and his inside knowledge could be key in United overcoming their old rivals.
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