With thousands of Manchester United fans already fuming at the lack of quality in the team’s defence, José Mourinho’s recent comment will heap more sores on the already painful wound.
Mourinho was quoted as saying:”Varane had one foot at Manchester United but Real Madrid are very strong and Rapha came to us. I was on holiday and in Madrid. Zinedine Zidane arrived with a DVD and I thought that player, with two years’ work with us, would be fantastic.”
Given the present spate of the Red Devils defence, one can’t but wonder why Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t put up a stiffer competition for the French star. It is true that the scot had a rock solid partnership between Rio Ferdinand and former captain Nemaja Vidic which was one of the most functional in all of Europe, but Sir Alex could have prepared for the future. If he had signed Varane up, by now the 21-year-old would have establish himself at the heart of the defence and ease the pressure on Louis van Gaal. Instead, Sir Alex chose to move on Chris Smalling instead, and while the former Fulham man has been doing his bit, Raphael Varane would obviously have presented a better option.
With Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic now gone, the Red Devils are even worse off. The new manager has attempted to solve the defensive issue when he brokered a deal for Marcos Rojo that will not only cost Manchester United a fortune, but also the services of Luis Nani. With the persistent injury crisis, Louis van Gaal has handed debut to 2 youth team defenders in Tyler Blacklet and Paddy McNair and might even promote a few more if the situation doesn’t improve.
Raphael Varane has now gained invaluable experience having won the 2014 Champions League with Real Madrid and also featured for the French national team that got ousted by eventual winners Germany in the recently concluded World Cup in Brazil. In fact in the 21-year-old proved his quality once more when he kept tabs on Cristiano Ronaldo for the better part of the recent friendly between Portugal and France which was part of both teams preparation for the Euro 2016 championships.
Manchester United has since been referred to as a declining empire within the time that Raphael Varane was doing his exploits at the Santiago Bernabeu. With the likes of Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling currently the most senior members of the defence at Old Trafford the it will be safe to say were Varane present, his influence alone might have salvaged what was left of United’s deflated defence this season because while many pundits are still hoping on both Evans and Smalling to step up and fill Rio and Vidic’s shoes, Varane is already rubbing shoulders with Sergio Ramos and Pepe at Madrid.