Jamie O’Hara feels concerned that Manchester United would lack pace in defence if they partnered Raphael Varane with Harry Maguire.
United solved their need for a star centre-back in 2019 when Maguire signed from Leicester for £80million. However, finding another top arrival to partner the England man since then has been the task. Victor Lindelof plays that role now, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his sights set on Varane.
The France international, who is 28 like Maguire, has less than a year left on his Real Madrid contract but has reportedly decided to quit.
United will supposedly have to pay £50million to bring him in in a double, £68million splurge alongside Kieran Trippier.
Speaking to talkSPORT, former Tottenham midfielder O’Hara insisted that while United would be making a star signing in Varane, the player’s reasons for leaving Madrid remain unclear.
“My question is why’s he leaving Real Madrid at 28 years of age if he is – as everyone has been making out – the best centre-half in the world?” the pundit said.
“Well, why’s he leaving Real Madrid? A lot of people say he fell out with the manager and maybe thought it was time to move on.
“But they need a centre-half and if they [Man Utd] did get him, he’d definitely improve the team massively.
“He’d be a top signing for Manchester United and it’s the position they definitely needed to improve.”
Asked about the potential partnership between Varane and Maguire, though, O’Hara was less certain.
He insisted that, unlike, Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, United’s duo may struggle for pace.
Concern for Maguire, Varane partnership
“I mean it’s top class, isn’t it? World class. I’d worry potentially a bit about pace with them both,” O’Hara added.
“I’ve seen Varane get torn apart a little bit by Chelsea in the Champions League last season.
“Pace I think would be something that teams would try and exploit against them two. If you look at Liverpool, when Van Dijk’s fit and Gomez is fit, they’ve got pace.
“They can get themselves out of trouble. They [Man Utd] will lack in that area, but it’s a brilliant pairing in terms of on the ball and experience, leadership qualities.
“It’s going to be a top signing, they’ll have a decent back four.”
Pace is not a problem for the Red Devils up front, though, with England winger Jadon Sancho set to shake up Solskjaer’s team.