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Raphael Varane would be a great partner for Harry Maguire and help restore Man United’s glory

Manchester United have lost four semi-finals and one final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They have finished second and third in the Premier League.

The Norwegian played for United at a time when winning silverware was as natural as breathing; when there was a culture of success at Old Trafford and the mentality that came with it.

Solskjaer is gradually re-establishing that culture, but United’s dressing room is undeniably lacking players who have won major accolades on a regular basis.

That’s why reports suggesting United are in talks to sign Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane are so encouraging to their supporters.

The French defender is a proven winner. At 28, he already has an enviable medal collection and still has time in his career to win it all again at United.

Manchester United are reportedly in talks to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane

Manchester United are reportedly in talks to sign Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane

The Frenchman is not only an excellent defender but would also bring a winning pedigree to United United

The Frenchman is not only an excellent defender but would also bring a winning pedigree to United United

Varane played in a dozen finals for Real Madrid and won them all. He also played every minute of France’s victorious 2018 World Cup campaign.

At the moment, as Solskjaer’s United continue to stumble over the last hurdle, it is players of the caliber of Varane who are urgently needed to pull them across the line.

It’s not just Varane’s qualities as a centre-back and how they would complement the existing Harry Maguire and United defenders, but that winning pedigree, that strength that came from having been in those crisis scenarios before and thriving.

Varane, who still has a one-year contract with Bernabeu and should therefore be sold to Real this summer to make a profit, is not a natural leader of men outwardly.

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keeps United moving in the right direction, he has yet to win a trophy

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keeps United moving in the right direction, he has yet to win a trophy

Varane, who helped France win the 2018 World Cup, would bring a winning mentalityment

Varane, who helped France win the 2018 World Cup, would bring a winning mentalityment

His character is very quiet and reserved, he has never been like Sergio Ramos or Marcelo in leading Real Madrid, but his confidence as a defender and series champion would be a great boost for United’s dressing room.

Of course, we cannot rule out the possibility that Varane will use United’s interest to negotiate a great new contract with the Spanish club, just like Ramos did a few years ago.

But it’s not hard to see why the Frenchman is United’s number 1 target as they try to close what was at times a big hole in the middle of their defence.

There are parallels between the dynamics of Ramos and Varane in the midst of Real Madrid and how Varane could pair up with Maguire as United’s first defensive partnership.

Varane and Sergio Ramos complemented each other well in the center of Real .'s defense

Varane and Sergio Ramos complemented each other well in the center of Real .’s defense

Varane would be an upgrade on Victor Lindelof (second from right) alongside captain Harry Maguire

Varane would be an upgrade on Victor Lindelof (second from right) alongside captain Harry Maguire

Ramos provided the vocal leadership and also the impetus by carrying the ball out of defense to start Madrid’s moves.

The Real captain also liked to make attacks on the opponent’s field when they were chasing the game. This sounds very similar to Maguire in every way.

Varane was more than happy to cross and fill the gaps it left, knowing that his pace and intelligence of positioning could avert any danger.

His natural speed to come back and provide cover also explains his call to United. Maguire, for all his strength in the air and agility stepping out of the defense, is not the fastest.

Several opponents took advantage of United’s slowness in the rear last season by running directly at Maguire and Victor Lindelof or setting up a foot race with balls in the back.

As Rio Ferdinand, one of the last world-class defenders United had, recently said: “When I have seen Man United have problems and are in trouble in games, teams have often been given a confidence vote or have a crack in the armour. seen from Man United.

United's backline seemed prone to pace and one-on-one situations last season

United’s backline seemed prone to pace and one-on-one situations last season

Medals of Varane

Real Madrid

2011-12, 2016-17, 2019-20 LaLiga Title

Copa del Rey 2013-14

Super Copa de Espana 2012, 2017, 2019-20

UEFA Champions League 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18

2014, 2016, 2017 UEFA Super Cup

2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 FIFA Club World Cup

France

World Cup 2018

“If they can get people one-on-one or get the ball over the defense or over the press in one of the channels, then it’s a race. We don’t have the players fast enough to do that on the central defenders.

“When we get someone like him, people start to think, ‘We’re not going to play the ball over the top, because Varane will eat that.”

‘Do you get someone who knows how to win? Will you get someone who performs at a global level? Do you get someone who is part of a culture of constant winning? Yes.’

While Lindelof has improved with Maguire alongside him, serious question marks remain, not least about his head skills. United missed Maguire very much when he damaged ankle ligaments at the end of last season.

It’s not hard to see how Varane would be a major upgrade for Lindelof, Eric Bailly or any of United’s other defenders, even if it clearly took time to form a rapport with Maguire.

Varane always seemed to have a maturity greater than his years. He was only 17 when he made his professional debut for Lens in France and it wasn’t long before Real, a future star in sight, made the switch.

When then sporting director Zinedine Zidane first called Varane to express Real’s interest in signing him, the teenager asked him to call back while he was completing his baccalaureate exam.

Although he was young, Varane realized his life had changed forever after he made the £8 million move to Real in the summer of 2011.

“I told myself I couldn’t go to the cinema at eight at night,” he said marca in 2019. “When I arrived at the airport and saw so many journalists, I knew Madrid was something else.”

Fortunately, Varane possessed the sane head to not only cope but thrive in the pressure cooker, one of Spain’s premier clubs.

Varane in a recent Instagram photo with wife Camille and children Ruben and Anais

Varane in a recent Instagram photo with wife Camille and children Ruben and Anais

Varane on a date night with wife Camille.  The couple married in 2015 and the defender is the devoted family man

Varane on a date night with wife Camille. The couple married in 2015 and the defender is the devoted family man

Varane's Instagram photos reveal a love for brightly colored designer clothes

Varane’s Instagram photos reveal a love for brightly colored designer clothes

His family grounded him. Varane married long-term partner Camille Tytgat in 2015, and then had a son, Ruben, and daughter, Anais.

Varane’s Instagram posts are more family snaps, often in garish Dolce and Gabbana outfits, than videos of himself partying.

As early as 2014, Jose Mourinho touted him as the ‘best defender in the world’, while Real legend Fernando Hierro, the man Varane was often compared to, admitted he had been outdone.

By his mid-20s, Varane had realized most of his football dreams, thanks in large part to Real’s period of European dominance during Zidane’s first stint as manager.

He has won the Champions League four times, three Spanish league titles, the Copa del Rey, three European Super Cups and four FIFA Club World Cups.

Varane has expressed his gratitude to Zinedine Zidane shaping his career at Real Madrid

Varane has expressed his gratitude to Zinedine Zidane shaping his career at Real Madrid

An injury prevented him from Euro 2016 when France lost to Portugal in the final, but he more than made up for it by being their defensive rock at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He was 25 when he won the Champions League and the World Cup in just a few weeks that year. It’s the kind of summer that many United players can only dream of right now.

With all that already on his resume, Varane is well placed to take on a new challenge, both in the Premier League and elsewhere.

With Real plagued by financial constraints, he would certainly increase his earnings in Manchester and present English football with a whole host of new challenges.

Varane described Zidane as “someone who won’t let me stay in my comfort zone,” suggesting that he is someone who is open to testing himself and improving himself.

The task of making Manchester United determined in the back, helping them restore the glory of the past, could therefore be a tempting task.

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