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Raphael Varane Speaks On The Confidence Erik Ten Hag Gives And Cristiano Ronaldo

Dylan Penketh

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Raphael Varane Speaks On The Confidence Erik Ten Hag Gives And Cristiano Ronaldo

Raphael Varane signed for a fee of around £27 million, and his announcement was nothing short of spectacular.

The scene was all set for the opening day of the Premier League season.

The first season back since a COVID filled season-and-a-half meant games had to be played behind closed doors, Manchester United were all set to play rivals Leeds United in front of a full Old Trafford crowd.

Just before kick off, a sudden notification popped up on many people’s Twitter timelines from Athletic reporter David Ornstein, which claimed that Raphael Varane was about to be unveiled as the new Frenchman in Manchester.

And low and behold, just minutes later there he was, standing in the Old Trafford centre-circle in a flashy new suit holding a “Raphael Varane 19’ shirt.

With Old Trafford bouncing, the side went on to smack Leeds 5-1, thanks to three goals from Bruno Fernandes and four assists from since departed Paul Pogba.

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After such as brilliant start to the season, it seems rather incredible how far the club fell, ending the season in 6th place and a drudging 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace.

Despite this ending, Varane is positive about the new season.

"It's a new season. A new start," said the centre-back.

"Confidence is important and we lost confidence when we lost some games. But I think we have great potential.”

One change that has filled fans and players alike is the arrival of Erik ten Hag.

After wins against Liverpool, Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace in pre-season, Erik ten Hag’s imprint is clear to see, both culturally and tactically.

Erik ten Hag has been very vocal on the touchline during pre-season. (Alamy)
Erik ten Hag has been very vocal on the touchline during pre-season. (Alamy)

“The new manager is very positive,” explained Varane. “He wants this energy and to press high up the pitch, with more space behind our backs.

“That is maybe more offensive but it is football we really enjoy, so that is a good start."

One big debate that has occurred throughout Erik ten Hag’s tenure so far has been about the future of Portugese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

There has been constant debate about Ronaldo’s ability to cope in a more ‘modern’, pressing system, considering his age,

"That debate was outside of the dressing room," proclaimed Varane when asked for comment on said debate.

"We know his quality. And we know he's very famous. So we know a lot of people will speak about the performance of the team and his performance.

Cristiano Ronaldo playing Atletico Madrid away in the Champions League. (Alamy)
Cristiano Ronaldo playing Atletico Madrid away in the Champions League. (Alamy)

"Cristiano is a great competitor. He's a legend and he always helps the team, so obviously it's very good to play with him."

Whether Ronaldo ever plays again is a question only time can answer.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Raphael Varane, Manchester United, Erik Ten Hag, Cristiano Ronaldo, Football, Premier League

Dylan Penketh
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