Raphael Varane has made just 26 appearances in an injury-plagued debut season at Manchester United but former club defender Mikael Silvestre believes he can turn things around
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Varane was signed by United last summer to much fanfare but has so far failed to live up to his bill at Old Trafford. He cost the club £34million real Madrid at the start of the season, with the experienced centre-back signing a four-year deal.
A crucial part of France’s four-time World Cup title in 2018 Champions League Winner with Real Madrid, much was expected of Varane upon his arrival at United. But the 29-year-old has made just 26 appearances in all competitions so far this season and has therefore been unable to partner with club captain Harry Maguire at centre-back.
United’s overall negative outlook for their fifth straight season without silverware hasn’t helped things. However, former United defender Silvestre believes his compatriot can change things if Ten Hag takes over the reins following his arrival from Ajax this summer.
“He has what it takes to lead the United defence,” he said Genting Casino . “Individually he is more than capable of improving and being one of the best defenders next season under the new coach.”
Varane has reportedly missed 17 United games this season through injury and illness transfer market. He was therefore often thrown in at the deep end when he was fully fit again, forced to return to a struggling team.
That was evident in United’s 3-1 defeat arsenal on Saturday, in which Varane played the full 90 minutes alongside Victor Lindelof while Maguire was left on the bench by Ralf Rangnick. Silvestre believes all he needs is a series of games to settle into the still-new environment.
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“I think this season has been difficult for him, but he’s also missed a lot of games through injury,” he said. “Whenever he’s had a string of games in the team, we’ve seen the Varane who’s played so well for Real Madrid.
“The game against Arsenal was his first game after a long absence and he didn’t have the luck or composure in his performance. It’s been a shaky start for the whole defense after conceding another early goal, and away, making it even more difficult to get a positive result. He wasn’t at his best, but there are circumstances that contributed to that.”
United is sixth in the First League, six points behind Arsenal in fourth place with four games to go. Varane is likely to be involved again when Rangnick’s side host Chelsea on Thursday night, before the final league games against Brentford, Brighton and crystal palace.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/varane-man-utd-ten-hag-26817635 Mikael Silvestre makes Raphael Varane prediction ahead of Erik ten Hags Man Utd arrival