Raphael Varane is one of the success stories of this season so far, with the experienced defender finally coming into his own at Manchester United.
Varane joined United at the start of last season but the 29-year-old endured a highly challenging season ravaged by injuries as United succumbed to their worst-ever points tally in the Premier League.
It looked like Varane’s misery was extended this summer when Erik ten Hag seemingly preferred Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof to the Frenchman but that has all changed.
Varane underwent a personally tailored training regime over the summer to build his fitness and after initially starting the season on the bench, he has now claimed a starting spot alongside Lisandro Martinez.
The pair have formed an unbreakable bond and Varane is in terrific form, which he has now carried into the international break. Speaking after starring for France against Austria earlier this week, Varane has now explained why he’s so happy with his situation.
“I’m very happy. I’m enjoying it a lot. Last season was irregular for me. This start to the season, we’re getting good results, taking pleasure in playing, in fighting together,” Varane is quoted as saying by RMC, via the Manchester Evening News.
“I also came to England to live emotions like that, and every game is a battle, a challenge. I like it. Being able to play regularly, having had a full pre-season, allows me to feel good on the pitch.”
Varane looks like a completely different player compared to the one we saw in his first season at United. An injury-free version and someone who looks like he understands what the manager is asking of him.
Make no mistake about it, a fully fit Varane is still one of the best defenders in the world and at U29, he still has several good years ahead of him.
United will be hoping that he can stay injury free for the rest of the season as they continue to build an exciting project under Ten Hag.