Raphael Varane openly discussed the demands of Premier League football having joined Manchester United this summer following 10 glittering years with Real Madrid
The decorated defender insists he has been relishing the “different mentality” of Premier League football after a decade plying his trade in La Liga.
Varane joined the Red Devils for an initial fee of £34million in August and has played 90 minutes in each of their last five top-flight games.
The 28-year-old won the Champions League four times with Los Blancos and the World Cup with France in 2018, but his desire for a new “adventure” prompted him to take the plunge with a move to Old Trafford.
“I am very happy with this beginning of adventure,” Varane told L’Equipe when asked about his first months with United.
“The Premier League is a championship renowned for its intensity. There is a different atmosphere, a different mentality in general compared to football.
“It’s a different approach and experience for me. I enjoy playing, getting out of my comfort zone, looking for new benchmarks in relation to my teammates. It’s another way to defend, it’s super interesting for me.”
Varane kept a clean sheet on his debut in late August and assisted Mason Greenwood’s winner in the 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted with the Frenchman’s display and also highlighted the different demands the Premier League asks of players.
“This was ‘welcome to the Premier League’ – tempo, hustle bustle, tackle, have to defend counter attacks,” Solskjaer said while discussing Varane’s display at Molineux.
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“Top, top performance. He’s good in the air, he’s so composed on the ball and he’s so experienced and nothing phases him.”
The Red Devils boss added: “He was good in the dressing room before the game, half-time and so I’m delighted with his performance. I thought he showed his class.”
While United have failed to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League or Champions League since their victory over Wolves, few can fault Varane’s performances.
Maguire, 28, could return for the trip to Leicester City after the international break, but Victor Lindelof may continue to deputise if he fails to recover.
In the meantime, Varane is poised to line up for France in their Nations League semi-final against Belgium on Thursday night, with the winner set to face either Italy or Spain in the final.