Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick believes the signing of Raphael Varane from Real Madrid is a signal of intent from the Red Devils.
Man United confirmed on Tuesday that an agreement had been reached with Real Madrid for the transfer of Varane’s services. The BBC reported that the deal could cost the club a potential £42m with add-ons included.
Varane established himself as one of the finest centre-backs in the world during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, winning 17 major honours in total, including four Champions Leagues.
United had the worst defensive record in the Premier League’s top four last season, so the addition of one of the best in the business in that area of the field will undoubtedly be welcomed by the fanbase.
Luke Chadwick, formerly of Man United, has been speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside about what separates Varane from the centre-backs Ole Gunnar Solskjaer currently has at his disposal.
“Maguire and Lindelof both had solid enough seasons,” Chadwick acknowledged. “Maguire in particular is a brilliant centre-half, I think Lindelof is a very good Premier League centre-half, but maybe not a centre-half pairing that’d win a Premier League title.”
“They produced a second-placed finish last season but I think Varane is everything that United need. Lindelof and Maguire are very solid defenders in terms of defending what’s in front of them – attack the ball, win the ball – but that athleticism that they sometimes lack against top, top-class opposition, I think that’s what Varane has in absolute abundance.”
“Obviously an incredible, glittering career he’s had, won trophies at Real Madrid, Champions League, World Cup with France.”
Man United left it late to reinforce Solskjaer’s squad in the summer of 2020, while missing out on their key target at the time, Jadon Sancho.
Chadwick, speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, revealed his satisfaction with the club’s transfer activity this time around, as well as revealing his belief that Varane’s arrival is a statement of intent from the club.
“I think it’s an extremely key signing, with Sancho as well, after the real disappointing transfer window of last summer where things didn’t come off and it was really late when business was done.”
“I think it stamps a real mark of intent for what United are trying to do this season,” Chadwick added. “With Sancho, Varane, it looks as though there could be more business done this summer as well, they certainly seem to be moving in the right direction.”
“It’s a massive season for Ole to win a trophy and I think the two signings are certainly going to propel the club forward in their quest to catch up with Man City and compete with Liverpool and Chelsea in the Premier League.”
Solskjaer will be delighted to have had his transfer desires satisfied, but will also be keenly aware that with greater expenditure comes loftier expectations.
The former Man United striker has been forgiven for being unable to deliver silverware at Old Trafford thus far in his tenure, it’s hard to imagine that continuing following the acquisitions of Sancho and Varane.
Nevertheless, it’s an exciting time to be a Man United fan. The club have proven they mean business in the transfer market, all that remains is for the players to deliver on what’s expected of them.