Man United Finally Have 'New Vidic And Ferdinand Partnership' In Raphael Varane And Harry Maguire
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Paul Merson believes that Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane can forge a Manchester United partnership reminiscent of the one between Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
Varane, 28, was officially announced as United's latest signing on Saturday ahead of the club's 5-1 thumping of Leeds United at Old Trafford.
The 2018 World Cup winner, who spent a decade at Real Madrid, received a spine-tingling reception from the Old Trafford faithful ahead of kick-off.
Varane penned a four-year deal with United and will wear the No 19 shirt, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer calling him "one of the best defenders in the world over the last 10 years."
The former Madrid star is Solskjaer's third summer signing after the additions of former Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton.
Merson hailed Varane as the "signing of the summer in the Premier League" and believes that he can transform United into title contenders.
The Sky Sports pundit added that the new United centre-back is a "major signing" and he will have a "massive impact" at Old Trafford.
Speaking in his column for The Daily Star, Merson wrote: "Raphael Varane will turn Manchester United into title contenders -- he's the signing of the summer in the Premier League.
"I think it's as tight as it's ever been this season and there's four teams who could win the league.
"United weren't one of them but Varane changes that. I think that's a major signing. With all the class and experience he brings with him from Real Madrid, I think he's going to have a massive impact."
United boss Solskjaer was keen to add an experienced defender to his ranks to partner alongside Harry Maguire for the new season.
Maguire, 28, took to social media on Saturday to welcome Varane to the United squad.
Welcome mate @raphaelvarane- Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) August 14, 2021
Thank you captain!!- Raphaël Varane (@raphaelvarane) August 14, 2021
Both Vidic and Ferdinand forged a formidable partnership under legendary former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
And now Merson claims that United have filled the void left behind by Vidic and Ferdinand with their new partnership between Maguire and Varane.
"United now have a new Vidic and Ferdinand partnership to rely on at the back. Maguire can get tight to people and Varane can sweep up behind with his pace," he explained.
"United played with two holding midfield players a lot last season because Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn't trust his defenders. They won't need to do that now. They were as good a counter-attacking team as anyone last season.
"But now, with Varane, they can take more risks and play on the halfway line. That's important against the lesser teams. You can really put them under pressure instead of having that fear of one long ball over the top catching you out."
Featured Image Credit: PA
Topics: Harry Maguire, Football, Manchester United, Nemanja Vidic, Paul Merson, Premier League, England, Rio Ferdinand, Raphael Varane
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