Can Raphael Varane Adapt to Premier League Football From ‘Slow Paced’ La Liga?

Published 07/29/2021, 4:45 AM EDT


Manchester United seem to be on a mission this transfer season. After securing young star Jadon Sancho’s signature, the Red Devils have added arguably one of the best center backs in the world in Raphael Varane.

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Varane who has played majority of his professional career with Spanish giants Real Madrid has won possibly every trophy possible. Be it domestic accolades like the La Liga title or prestigious European competitions like the Champions League, the Frenchman has had it all.

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He also was the center of the French back line which dominated the 2018 world cup. While Varane has had an incredible career so far, it is hard to believe that the Frenchman is still 28-years-old and is in the prime of his career. Given his impeccable repertoire, this could be one of the moves of the season.

Rio Ferdinand voices his concerns about Raphael Varane

Manchester United last season had one of the best defenses in the league. While the partnership of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, were able to keep many teams at bay, their struggles against top teams was visible. Given how shaky their defense can be, the Red Devils will hope that Raphael Varane is the solution to their problems.

But club legend Rio Ferdinand thinks that the Frenchman might have to show his adaptability. In a recent video, Ferdinand explained why the problems the Frenchman might face in the Premier league.

“He’s got to understand the English game is very different.” Balls getting wrapped around his ear holes, crosses from different angles that he hasn’t seen on a consistent basis in Spain where they play more on the floor, slower football, slower build up.”

Historically Varane has been slotted in teams like France and Real Madrid who like to keep possession. While La Liga does have teams that like to who prefer counter-attacks, Premier League takes it to another level.

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With a much more physical and pace basked play, the Premier League is unlike anything Varane has seen. While the Frenchman has shown his all-round ability with his heading, long-passing and tackling, he has had his weaknesses against pace.

This was apparent in the 2019-20 Champions league clash with Manchester City. Playing without his defensive partner Sergio Ramos, Varane was the main man in Real’s defense.

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Given his experience, it looked like he could handle the pressure from Guardiola’s City in the second leg clash. But Varane seemed rather flustered with the pressure applied from the City attack. Ultimately, the French center back became the primary reason for Real conceding two goals.

Varane’s struggles against a top team like City might be a cause of concern. But if Varane can adapt to the Premier League, he can surely excel in the league. Can the Frenchman prove that he is worth his £41 million?

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Aditya Mohapatra

1186 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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