Rangnick has leaned on a 4-3-3 in recent weeks, with Scott McTominay primarily operating as the holding midfielder.
But the Scotsman lacks the defensive know-how that Matic boasts, with his vast experience at the top level of European football.
And with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes undoubtedly attack-minded players, McTominay is often left overrun.
If Matic can remain fit and be available more often, Rangnick could have a secret weapon in the season run-in as United battle Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Wolves for a top-four spot.
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