Raphaël Varane‘s fortune at Manchester United has taken somewhat of a turn under Dutch manager Erik ten Hag. The French center back struggled with form and fitness during his first season in Manchester starting in only 20 games over the course of the season. The end of a disappointing campaign under Solksjaer and Rangnick showed Rapha in equally poor light. However, the arrival of our Dutch manager gave Varane an opportunity to make amends. Under ten Hag, Varane underwent rigorous conditioning to address his niggling issues. In this newfound partnership with Lisandro Martinez, Varane is finally living out his promise to Manchester United.
Raphaël has had excellent performances in United’s rebound post the Brentford humiliation. While the Manchester Derby was an extremely tough pill to swallow, currently United’s back line looks the most dependable that it has in close to a decade. The Rapha-Licha partnership coupled with an in-form Dalot and the competition at LB make us defensively solid, and offensively sharp. Both center backs have not only put in excellent defensive shifts and challenges, but have also been effective in building the attack out from the back. In the long run, ten Hag’s game-plan will work very well when Varane and Licha can find Casemiro and Christian Eriksen with their passes, and those two play the ball further out.
At the end of last season, we thought we would never see a fit and fine Rapha. However, with the guidance of a capable manager and the partnership of a tough center back, Raphaël Varane is here to stay!