Raphael Varane revealed his first impressions of new team-mates Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw, and admitted a conversation with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer removed any fears he might have had about joining Man Utd.
The 28-year-old Frenchman was greeted with a raucous reception when unveiled before a capacity Old Trafford crowd on Saturday. Varane’s £42m acquisition will add a sprinkling of stardust to their back-line. He will also bring a wealth of experience and a winning mentality.
Combined with the £73m signing of Jadon Sancho, Man Utd now appear better equipped to mount a genuine title challenge than in any previous season of the post Ferguson era.
Paul Pogba will undoubtedly have a big role to play in their title tilt. The dynamic Frenchman remains on the radar of PSG after entering the final year of his contract.
However, his virtuoso four-assist display in the 5-1 dismantling of Leeds proved Pogba still has plenty to offer the Red Devils.
And speaking to Man Utd’s official website, Varane spoke of the contrasting personalities he and Pogba possess, but insisted their differing approaches will both benefit the collective.
“I think Paul is very positive and he has a very good energy,” said Varane. “He motivates players in the dressing room and on the pitch with his energy.
“We are different but we are very complementary, and it’s important in the team to have different types of leaders and characters.”
Regarding playing with Pogba at club level, the centre-half added: “I’m very happy. I’ve known him for a very long time. We started together with the French national team and he’s a great player.
“I think he’s ambitious and me too. So we are ready to work hard and to do all we can to win trophies.”
Man Utd’s back four will almost pick itself when everyone is fit. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Shaw will occupy the full-back berths, with club captain Maguire partnering Varane at the heart of defence.
When asked for his thoughts on linking up with Shaw and Maguire in particular after seeing them in action at Euro 2020, Varane said: “I think they are very good players. I’m very happy to be a new player in this team because there is a lot of talent.
“I’m sure when you don’t win a trophy and you lost in a final then the next time you are more motivated. You want to win more than ever.”
Varane acknowledges Solskjaer’s Man Utd project
Despite Man Utd going trophy-less for four straight seasons, the feel-good factor appears to have returned under Solskjaer.
When asked if he had spoken with the Norwegian about what the club legend is building at Old Trafford, Varane acknowledged Man Utd’s philosophy and lofty ambitions were addressed in their conversation.
“It was very important for me to know exactly about the philosophy,” added Varane. “And what the challenges and objectives are, and the ambitions – that was very important for me.
“I feel a real determination. And an ambition to work very hard and to try to do everything that is possible to win trophies. That motivates me.”