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How Raphael Varane would change how Manchester United play

Raphael Varane could be a massive signing for Manchester United.

Manchester United don’t like to do things easily in the transfer window, so we’re certainly not saying the Raphael Varane deal is done.

But it seems as though his transfer from Real Madrid is inching closer by the day, and if he does join the Red Devils, he would make quite an impact all over the pitch. We have taken a look at the difference Varane might make to Man United.

Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane’s comfort on the ball will help Man United.

When you play next to Sergio Ramos for the best part of 10 years, you pick up a thing or two. A thing or two about leadership definitely. And a thing or two about confidence.

Varane is used to seeing an awful lot of the ball, both with France and with Madrid. He will be demanding the ball from his goalkeeper and looking to thread the ball through to the midfield.

While Victor Lindelof, the man he will surely be replacing, is a decent passer of the ball, he doesn’t do so with the same authority as Varane. Realistically, he doesn’t do anything with the same authority as Varane.

When Liverpool signed Virgil van Dijk, the opposition had to change the way they approached Jurgen Klopp’s team. They respected them more. They played with fear at Anfield. Varane commands more respect than Lindelof, who is probably spoken about as a weak link in the away dressing room at Old Trafford every second week.

Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane & Harry Maguire.

Some of Harry Maguire’s best games with Man United have come with Eric Bailly alongside him, and if the Ivorian could stay fit, he would probably have been ahead of Lindelof in the pecking order. Similarly, Axel Tuanzebe has the right skill set but has appeared quite mistake-prone and inexperienced in some of his appearances at United.

In Varane, Maguire will have a partner who can bail him out of a number of situations that the club captain seems to find himself in. He’s quick in the turn, and even quicker when he gets going. If Man United were to play against a striker like Timo Werner, or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Varane could stick tight to them. Whereas when they come up against a Chris Wood, Maguire could relish the physical challenge.

That’s not to say that Varane would shy away from facing a big man up front either, but his pace is definitely what will change United’s defence most. Despite what Jamie O’Hara thinks.

Raphael Varane & Man United’s midfield.

Man United should fans must be hoping that the team finally finds a defence that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer trusts enough to not stop playing two holding midfielders in front of. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire and Luke Shaw could be that defence.

Fred and Scott McTominay became a fixture of United’s midfield in big games last season, and with attacking options consisting of Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial, United simply can’t afford to start games with six defensively-minded outfield players on the pitch.

Raphael Varane

Simply put, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have no choice but to play a more adventurous midfield, given he has a near-world class defence.

Scott McTominay (or a potential new signing), Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes seems like the ideal midfield, while the front three can rotate.

But how you can look at a starting XI of Dean Henderson, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Luke Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, Bruno, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani and Jadon Sancho and not see a team that should win trophies is beyond us.

Varane’s arrival should put to bed a lot of Solskjaer’s concerns, but he will be worried now too. He has no more excuses. Success is a must.

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