Manchester United are on the path of a squad overhaul and this bumper summer transfer window might actually be the icing on the cake for them as they look to challenge for silverware.
Solskjaer’s men have started the season on a really high note and currently sit at the top of the table in the Premier League following a 4-1 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday.
Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo all have been in the limelight for their attacking inputs for the team but Raphael Varane at the back has been equally important for them. Manchester United have been looking for a centre-back partner for captain Harry Maguire since last season and their search has finally been over with Varane’s signing from Real Madrid this transfer window.
Raphael Varane made his debut on matchday 3 against Wolves and has been extremely impressive in both matches he has appeared for the club.
We look at some stats to understand his impact.
Raphael Varane has settled himself on the right side of the defence, his favourite side. He has played predominantly in the defensive third of the pitch sometimes venturing forward to win the ball back higher up the pitch. Varane likes to stay behind as he is not a great progresser of the ball complementing Harry Maguire beautifully who likes to carry the ball forward. Varane’s presence at the back has actually taken a lot of pressure off Maguire.
He is a great one vs one defender and the stats confirm. He ranks in the 95th percentile for engaging in loose ball duels in the league coming out on top 33.33% of the time. With an extremely good aerial presence, he ranks in the 82nd percentile in the league for aerial duels won per 90. He won all of his aerial duels against Newcastle.
Another great aspect of his game is how efficiently he has recovered the balls in the opposition half helping Manchester United in creating attacks high up the pitch. He ranks in the 86th percentile in the league for recoveries in the opposition half. He has also won 75% of the defensive actions he has been involved in.
He has engaged in duels all over the pitch and won 71% of them alongside winning 75% of his tackles as well.
One of his best attributes is his ball distribution. The 28-year-old French international has a passing accuracy of 90% while providing the assist for Mason Greenwood’s winner against Wolves on his debut.
There is no doubt that the four-times Champions League and one-time World Cup winner is one of the best centre-backs in the world. He has proved that in both the matches he has featured in. He brings a lot of experience to the backline and United will always benefit from it.
A calm head and a leader at the back, Varane needs to be at his best if Manchester United want to win multiple silverware this season.