It’s rare that fans and pundits alike get so excited about a young defensive talent. It’s easy enough to drool over the quick feet of a whippersnapper winger, who’s willing to pull out all the tricks of his trade.
It’s far harder for a defender to really show his worth at such a young age. After all, a mistake for an attacker often means giving the ball away, whilst a mistake for a young defender can mean conceding a goal. It’s a tough rite of passage and those players who come out on the other side unscathed are the real deal.
This brings me to Real Madrid’s highly regarded centre-back Raphael Varane. The 19-year-old Frenchman is already an important part of this Madrid side (17 appearances this season) and has all the attributes necessary to become one of the world’s best.
He’s quick along the ground, strong in the tackle and he’s also got real physical presence for a young player. He’s certainly not the type that you can easily bully off the ball. Best of all, he’s a goal-scoring centre-back. He’s got a fierce-some shot and has already punished Barcelona from a corner this season.
Potential hyperbole aside, it’s clear that he’s one to watch. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were clubs circling around him this summer, looking to snap him up before his price-tag becomes even more inflated.
Naturally, Manchester United are in the conversation. According to The Express, they’ve joined PSG in the ‘hunt’ for Varane. It’s claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson tracked Varane back when he played for French side Lens, but failed to make a bid for the youngster.
I’m sure he’s kicking himself at the missed opportunity. Still it’s not too late. This summer will bring an opportunity for Sir Alex to finally get his man.
With his Real Madrid contract running until 2017, Jose Mourinho has no real reason to sell the player. With that in mind, Manchester United will have to go all out to make any potential move happen. He certainly wont come cheap.
You get the feeling, however, that he’d be a worthy investment for the club. If he’s this good at 19-years-old, just how good will he end up being in 5 years time? If he’s worth £20m+ now, how much will he be worth towards the end of his United contract? There’s simply no telling and that’s why Sir Alex should be getting his cheque-book out.
What’s your take? Should Manchester United really splash out on Raphael Varane?
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