Man Utd captain Harry Maguire lauded the signing of Raphael Varane, though made sure to offer encouragement to the man he will likely jettison from the team.
Varane was officially unveiled as a Man Utd player on Saturday when striding out onto the Old Trafford turf prior to their 5-1 demolition of Leeds. Visa issues and a quarantine period had delayed the transfer’s official confirmation, but the 28-year-old serial trophy winner can now officially call himself a Red Devil.
Varane will likely walk straight into the starting eleven to partner Maguire at the heart of defence.
That will leave Victor Lindelof kicking his heels on the bench, and Maguire was quick to insist the newly-appointed Sweden captain still has a lot left to give at club level.
“To bring players into this club, obviously of his calibre as well, it’s going to be really, really exciting,” Maguire said initially on Varane’s arrival (via the Daily Mail)
“Everyone in the squad is obviously looking forward to working with him. I think one thing that it does is it boosts our defensive options.
“We’ve got an amazing number of centre-backs now at this club. All international players who are all proven in the Premier League. You’ve seen again how well Victor played [against Leeds].
“Victor has not just shown today [how good he is], but he’s shown over the last two seasons while I’ve played with him.
“He’s an excellent footballer. So, like I say, to have this amount of top centre-backs is great for the competition for places. It’ll make people push further, push harder and it’s exciting.”
Maguire outlines what Varane will bring
Varane lifted 18 major honours during his time with Real Madrid, including four Champions League titles.
He was also a mainstay in the France side that won the 2018 World Cup. And Maguire is thrilled his side will now benefit from the winning mentality Varane will bring with Man Utd’s hunt for major silverware now entering it’s fifth season without a trophy.
“I think you’ve seen what he’s won over his career. He’s played in some of the top teams about. The French squad and the Real Madrid team, and he’s won absolutely everything,” Maguire added.
“I think he’ll bring that winning mentality to the club and he’ll also bring his footballing ability to the club. Like I said, bringing players in is great for the squad. It lifts the squad. It’s great for the competition for the squad – not just as a centre-back but just in any position.
“We thrive off it, that’s how we play. At one of the biggest clubs in the world you don’t expect to have an easy ride and have no competition for places.”
Varane himself delivered a brief message to Man Utd fans after his signing was confirmed.
Taking to social media on Sunday, Varane thanked the fans for his raucous welcome at Old Trafford before promising to “work hard” for his new club.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 15, 2021