Raphael Varane: Patrice Evra hails the Manchester United signing

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Manchester United’s legendary former full-back Patrice Evra has hailed Raphael Varane as a ‘top, top signing’ for the Red Devils.

Speaking to The Athletic, Evra spoke glowingly of his fellow Frenchman who is, like Harry Maguire, 28, the prime age for centre-backs.

Evra compared Varane to his former teammate and other United great, Rio Ferdinand:

“Varane reminds me of Rio Ferdinand,” said Evra. “Great with the ball, great in the air. He’s the complete centre-back. I remember my first game with the French national team and I was so impressed.”

United came very close to signing Varane from Lens as an 18 year-old and it is well documented that Sir Alex Ferguson thought highly of him.

In his Brentford pre-season friendly post-match interview last night, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mentioned United’s long-standing interest and that the club had now captured Varane’s services but at the other end of his career instead.

Evra continued by mentioning Varane’s ability on the ball, which is a highly sought after attribute in modern centre-backs: “He was so young yet so good with the ball, so fast and his anticipation was perfect. He’s calm with the ball and he can score too. It’s a top, top signing for Manchester United.”

Varane’s passing ability might even be somewhat underrated ahead of the transfer, pending a medical.

With the way many teams press high and smother midfields nowadays, defenders are often relied upon to break the lines and be almost deep playmakers.

Varane is an excellent passer off both feet. His passing often leads to shot creation and he is excellent at switching the play with long balls to the wings.

United’s attacking full-backs, in particular, Luke Shaw, will surely benefit from this. If Evra was still playing for United, he would have too.

Completing a strong back-four, Varane will immediately become United’s best passing defender, even though Maguire is also excellent in that department.

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