Ralf Rangnick significantly contributed to Michael Carrick's team selection against Arsenal even though he was not in the Manchester United dugout, according to Alan Shearer.

Rangnick, 63, did not take charge of his first game as interim boss on Thursday night because his work permit only arrived earlier that day.

The German, who was appointed to the role on Monday, will instead manage the Red Devils as they welcome Crystal Palace to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

Nonetheless, many believe Rangnick could be influencing decisions behind the scenes as Carrick's brief spell as caretaker winds down.

United director of football John Murtough gave the former RB Leipzig boss a tour of the Theatre of Dreams on Wednesday, handing him ample opportunity to voice his plans for the squad and the busy festive schedule.

Ralf Rangnick may already be pulling the strings at Manchester United

The German may have influenced Michael Carrick's team selection against Arsenal

Shearer is among those who suspect Rangnick is already making his presence felt away from the spotlight, claiming he is highly likely to have influenced Carrick's XI to face the Gunners.

"I expect he’s had some sort of input. We understand he’s been here for a couple of days," Shearer told Amazon Prime Video Sport of Rangnick ahead of kick-off.

"We saw pictures of him inside the ground yesterday so I expect he’s spoken in some capacity to Michael Carrick in terms of who he wants to play, how he wants to play.

"So perhaps we’ll see that tonight and hopefully we’re in for a good game."

Shearer's co-pundit, United hero Patrice Evra, was less upbeat about Rangnick's appointment, as he feels the club is going round in circles by sacking and appointing managers.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have all been and gone since Sir Alex Ferguson retired from management at the end of the 2012/13 season.

"I’m bemused. I can’t be excited when we sack a manager. I feel like every season is a Deja Vu," Evra said.

Patrice Evra admits he is not excited about Ralf Rangnick's appointment (


Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for A)

"So, we’ll see. I’ve got hope, I will stay positive but no not excited."

The former France left-back added: "[I am] perplexed. We are talking more about Rangnick than what the players are doing on the pitch because we just sacked a manager.

"But everyone seems so excited and, 'Rangnick is going to be a genius'. He has my full support but lets see.

"I want the players to give a response on the pitch because when a manager has been sacked the players have to take some responsibility. All the United fans are excited about Rangnick."

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