London (AFP) – Raphael Varane needed his move to Manchester United as a fresh challenge which will do him good after years of success at Real Madrid, said the Premier League side’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The 28-year-old central defender — a pivotal figure in France’s 2018 World Cup triumph — is yet to play since he joined for a reported £34 million ($47 million) earlier this month.
His move to Manchester ended a 10-year spell at Real with whom he won three league titles and four Champions League trophies.
“As a person, as a player, he’s got class, so he will fit in at Manchester United, definitely,” said Solskjaer ahead of Sunday’s away match with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“I think we’ve signed a top person and a player at the right time because it’s a new challenge for him after being a World Cup winner and a Champions League winner at Real Madrid so many times.
“He’s probably needed the challenge and hopefully we can challenge him to take the next step.”
Solskjaer said Varane looked in peak shape following two weeks of intensive training.
“He’s working really hard,” said Solskjaer.
“When I asked him if he was ready to play — we had a behind-closed-doors (match) against Burnley last week — and he said, ‘No, I need to suffer on the training field first’.
“But now he’s had a couple of weeks of good training and he’s looking as impressive as ever.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $9.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season