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Newly-appointed Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick is expected to have an immediate impact on the squad, and could have something to say about his new players away from the pitch.
Rangnick is well known for his commitment to a high-intensity pressing game, which is likely to mean a change of tactical approach at United.
But the German coach’s methods go way beyond the training pitch, with some controversial opinions voiced in the past.
The 63-year-old has previously expressed a bizarre opinion about tattoos, which could prompt awkward conversations once he gets into the United dressing room.
“If I say it’s a coincidence, this is not quite the truth. For the style of football we play, we need team players,” Rangnick told theDaily Mail.
“They should at least celebrate with the guy who gave the assist. Of course this has not necessarily to do with tattoos.
“But then we need to discuss why do people have tattoos all over their body? It’s got to do with being exceptional and trying to attract attention.
“I’m not asking a player before we meet, show me your body whether you have any tattoos. Maybe some of them have tattoos.
“At least they don’t have them where you can see it everywhere.”
While Rangnick is speaking in his non-native language – so perhaps his comments need to be taken with a pinch of salt – they are sure to raise eyebrows at Carrington.
That is because, like in many Premier League dressing rooms, there are plenty of tattoos on show at United.
Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Jesse Lingard, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones and Alex Telles have all got tattoos, so Rangnick may have to get used to them.
Rangnick would be best advised to keep his opinions to himself, given the significance of some of the tattoos to their owners.
Sancho is sure to play a big role in United’s new era following his goals against Villarreal and Chelsea last week – and he has lots of tattoos, which mean a lot to him.
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“This is my first one and the most meaningful one because my little brother passed away when he was younger,” he explained to theclub websitein the summer when talking about the ink on his left forearm, which contains a poem to his brother.
“When I was in primary school, I wrote a poem that I read at the funeral, so this is definitely my most meaningful one."
The United winger also has some comic book characters on his right arm.
“Here I kind of freestyled because I liked comics when I was younger,” Sancho added.
"This isn’t finished yet – obviously, there’s Spider-man, Sonic, The Simpsons. I haven’t finished yet so there’s more to come.”
Rashford also has lots of tattoos all over his body, with the artwork telling his life story.
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The striker has three United shirts with each of his squad numbers emblazoned on his abdomen and a picture of a child playing with a ball beneath a cherry tree, as well as a lion on his chest, roman numerals on his side and prayer beads on his left arm.
Fernandes, meanwhile, has the number 23 tattooed on his left arm, in reference to his Portugal squad number from his debut, as well as thick bands of ink on his right arm.
Lindelof has full tattoo sleeves on both arms, Telles has a fully-inked left arm, Lingard has ‘Be Yourself’ written on his bicep among many other tattoos, while Jones has a striking tattoo of an eye on his right arm among his collection.
Rangnick has been hired for his tactical expertise, rather than his opinions on tattoos, so it remains to be seen if his previous comments have any effect on the squad dynamic.
- Marcus Rashford
- Premier League
- Manchester United FC
- Bruno Fernandes
- Jadon Sancho
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