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The reasons Raphael Varane won’t struggle in the Premier League

The reasons Raphael Varane won't struggle in the Premier LeagueIsn’t it great when a team pulls off an unbelievable signing and the first thing some pundits think to do is shoot it down and pinpoint the flaws in the move?

Manchester United’s summer pursuit of a world-class centre-back has been well publicised and in nearing a deal for Raphael Varane they’ve done just about as well as they possibly could have hoped.

The Real Madrid defender is universally recognised as one of the best central defenders in Europe, though obviously some have been quick to point out how ‘he might struggle when he moves to the Premier League’ blah blah blah.

So, we’ve compiled a list that shows exactly why he won’t struggle in English football, meaning any of you United fans who are getting cold feet over the deal can relax – safe in the knowledge your team has got themselves an absolute gem…

Pressure is nothing new to him

Raphael Varane is used to the pressure of big games
Raphael Varane is used to the pressure of big games / Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Whenever a team of United’s stature signs a player, the first accusation to be thrown at them is usually ‘how will they deal with the step up in pressure’ – that’s not going to be a problem for Varane.

Imagine signing for arguably the biggest club in world football and being handed a six-year deal having only just turned 18? Seriously, pressure is nothing new to this man.

Varane has played in the biggest games on the planet at both club and international level and so the suggestion that he might need a bit of time to adapt to the pressure of playing for a club the size of Manchester United is quite frankly absurd.


Serial winner

Varane's winner's medal collection isn't too bad
Varane’s winner’s medal collection isn’t too bad / FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Imagine suggesting a defender who has won three league titles, four Champions Leagues and a World Cup is going to struggle in the Premier League because he won’t know what’s hit him when he plays teams like Watford (no offence Watford fans)…lunacy, right?

Varane has got more Champions League winner’s medals in his trophy cabinet than the entire current United squad combined, and his addition to the side will only serve to add a winning mentality at the highest level.

Obviously a player’s success in football – and sport in general for that matter – relies heavily on their ability, but having the attitude of a winner is also a huge part of the game and Varane will bring that to United.



He’s used to fierce competition

La Liga isn't the stroll in the park some make it out to be
La Liga isn’t the stroll in the park some make it out to be / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Obviously there are subtle differences between the Spanish and English top flights, but you can guarantee most pundits who claim ‘the Premier League is the toughest league in the world’ have never watched a foreign league game in their life.

Real suffered three home defeats last season to teams who ultimately finished in the bottom half of La Liga, and so this notion that Varane won’t be used to the league’s so-called ‘lesser’ teams giving it a go is nonsense.

Also, if Varane was going to struggle so much in the Premier League because he’s had an easy ride at Real for the last ten years, you’d imagine Los Blancos would do terribly in the Champions League because English teams are so much better than Spanish teams, right?

Just the four Champions League winner’s medals in his collection, was it?


He’s been playing alongside the best

Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos played together for years
Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos played together for years / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Playing alongside quality players – especially as a defender where your reading of the game is key – is only going to help improve you as a player.

You can say what you like about Sergio Ramos, but it’s impossible to deny he was one of the best defenders in Europe for a number of years. Varane built a formidable partnership alongside the Spaniard during his time in Spain and you can guarantee that experience will have helped him develop as a defender.

If the Frenchman can form a similar partnership with Harry Maguire then United really will be title contenders.


Oh, he’s also a brilliant defender

You don't become a World Cup winner by being an average footballer
You don’t become a World Cup winner by being an average footballer / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Oh yeah, we almost forgot to mention this part.

Yes the Premier League is a demanding league – as are most top European leagues like we’ve already discussed – but if you’re as good a footballer as Varane then you can adapt to any league.

While Varane brings a whole host of qualities that have been sorely lacking from United’s backline in recent seasons, arguably the greatest impact he will make at Old Trafford could be on those around him.

Top-class players make those around them perform better, and if the World Cup-winner can drag the likes of Luke Shaw, Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka up to his level, suddenly United’s defence could be looking like the finished article.

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