Raphael Varane is delighted with the arrival of Erik ten Hag and sees better times for Manchester United

Raphael Varane is excited and believes in the impending arrival of new manager Erik ten Hag Manchester United can bounce back from a frustrating season by fighting for trophies next semester.

After finishing second in the Premier League and Europa League last season, a sense of progress and hope was fueled as stadiums returned to full capacity and new faces joined the squad.

Varane was paraded ahead of Old Trafford’s first full house in 17 months ahead of the season opener against Leeds and watched his new club run amok 5-1 against their rivals.

The arrival of former Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo only raised expectations, but United soon ran aground as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dropped out and interim boss Ralf Rangnick struggled to turn things around.

The Old Trafford giants will end a poor season by missing out on Champions League qualification, but Varane, who has won many trophies with France and Madrid, is confident next season will be better.

“It’s been a frustrating season,” he said after scoring in Monday’s 3-0 win against Brentford.

“I think it’s good to finish with a win at home at Old Trafford.

“We have to keep pushing and fighting for our fans until the end, that was a great attitude from the team and an emotional day.

“We want to end the season on a positive note and we need to play for our fans and for our pride.

“I think we can improve (defensively). I think we have good players and we need to defend more closely together.

“I think this season we’ve been a bit erratic and I think we can improve and do better next season.

“I’m always positive and I think that with a good pre-season and a good job we can prepare well for next season and be ready to fight for any title. That’s the aim of this club.”

United have been without a title since beating Ajax in the 2017 Europa League final, whose current manager will take over at Old Trafford this summer.

Ten Hag has impressed viewers with his work in Amsterdam, where he is on course to win a third Eredivisie title, and captured the imagination with his remarkable Champions League semi-finals run in 2019.

“Yes, I played against them in the Champions League and they played very well,” said Varane with a laugh, recalling Ajax’s shocking round of 16 win at Real Madrid this season.

“I am very happy to work with him.

“I’m looking forward to working with him. I think he has good experience and is a good person to work at this club.”

Ten Hag has some big decisions to make and a dressing room culture to remake as he takes the reins of Old Trafford.

Varane knows United’s defense is an area that needs improvement but believes in the quality of their centre-backs and pointed to the greater consistency needed to succeed.

“I think we have good players, players with experience,” he said when asked about his fellow centre-backs.

“I think it’s not just about defence, it’s about the whole team. I think we can improve, we can defend better.

“We can have more control during games. Sometimes we can play very well for 20-30 minutes and then play badly for 10 or 15 minutes. We lost so many points.

“I think if we’re consistent we can improve a lot, so I think it’s a collective work that we have to do.”

Varane is also hoping to demonstrate his individual quality more consistently after injuries interrupted a first season at Old Trafford that didn’t go as anyone imagined.

“Yes, but the experience is amazing,” he said. “There is something special about the feeling of being a United player.

“I’m really excited to play in the Premier League and it’s a great experience.

“Obviously it’s not the result we expected, but I’m still positive and I think next season will be better.

“I think I need a full pre-season to be fit but I think next season will be better.

“I think this season hasn’t been bad, but we can improve and we can do better.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/premier-league/raphael-varane-excited-by-erik-ten-hag-arrival-and-sees-better-times-ahead-for-manchester-united-41610099.html Raphael Varane is delighted with the arrival of Erik ten Hag and sees better times for Manchester United

Fry Electronics Team

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