Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Raphael Varane overlooks Cristiano Ronaldo to name true Man Utd player of the year

Man Utd centre-back Raphael Varane

The Man Utd player of the season award will be a two-horse race, and Raphael Varane reckons it should go to David de Gea, not Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Red Devils entered the season with high hopes of challenging the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool atop the Premier League. The triple arrival of Ronaldo, Varane and Jadon Sancho was met with great optimism among the fanbase. However, that trio were powerless to prevent United’s remarkable decline.

Manchester United currently sit sixth in the table and are on course for their lowest ever points total in the Premier League era.

That record currently stands at the 64 they accrued under David Moyes in 2013-14. United currently have 58 points to their name and must win their two remaining matches to avoid setting a new low.

But despite the misery that has been their season, there have been two notable highs.

Ronaldo has 24 goals to his name in all competitions and bagged vital hat-tricks against Tottenham and Norwich. The Portuguese icon is getting stronger as the season goes on with nine goals in his last six matches.

Elsewhere, David de Gea has recaptured the type of form that once saw him labelled the world’s best goalkeeper.

The Spaniard, 31, has not given Dean Henderson a look in and but for his highlight reel of saves, United wouldn’t even be on course for a Europa League berth.

Varane backs De Gea for PotY

Now, summer recruit Varane has weighed in on who he believes should win the player of the season award.

When asked by the PA if De Gea has been United’s best player this year, Varane said (via the Mirror): “I agree.

“David is having an amazing season. He helped us a lot. I think he has experience and he’s an amazing goalkeeper.”

Erik ten Hag is the man United have entrusted with the keys to the club. Varane was asked about his incoming manager and suggested the future will be bright at Old Trafford.

“Yeah, I played against them in the Champions League and they played very well,” Varane said with a laugh, reflecting on Ajax’s shock last-16 win at Real Madrid that season.

“I’m very excited to work with him. I’m looking forward to working with him. I think he has good experience and he’s a good person to work in this club.”

Whether Ten Hag will be able to put United back on track, only time will tell. United will require major surgery this summer with additions at centre-back, central midfield and in the forwards all expected.

Ronaldo has shown he can carry the can up front, while Anthony Elanga will look to kick on next year. Furthermore, it’s inconceivable Marcus Rashford will be as poor as he has been this year.

Ten Hag will reportedly strive to get to the bottom of why Harry Maguire has struggled so mightily this year. If he finds the answers he seeks and can reverse the centre-back’s form, a Maguire-Varane partnership may surprise a few.

The new arrivals in central midfield are thus poised to be the club’s most important. Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba will both leave for free, while Scott McTominay and Fred do not possess the quality United require to challenge Liverpool and Man City.