Varane joins first-team training at Carrington

Monday 16 August 2021 16:00

The buzz from United's 5-1 win over Leeds on Saturday continued at Carrington today (Monday 16 August), as new signing Raphael Varane took part in his very first training session with the squad.

The defender's move from Real Madrid was finally completed just prior to our Premier League opener, with the Frenchman memorably striding out onto the Old Trafford pitch before kick-off to the adoration of a capacity crowd.
The Les Bleus star had to wait for a visa and endure a period of self-isolation before the transfer could be signed off, but with all the Is and Ts finally dotted and crossed – as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put it – Varane's integration is now gathering pace.
Many of the first-team were granted a day off on Sunday, following the match, so Monday's training session represents the first real stage of our preparations for Sunday's away game at Southampton.
Varane walked out with the group ahead of the session, having already been introduced to most of his new team-mates and coaches at Old Trafford two days ago. 
Also involved were Amad and Eric Bailly, who had to quarantine after returning from the Tokyo Olympics, where they helped Ivory Coast to the last eight.
You can see a variety of images from the session in our gallery above, which shows Raphael alongside his new colleagues for the first time.
It remains to be seen when our no.19's first competitive appearance in a United shirt might arrive. 
The centre-back played a full part in Euro 2020 with France before Didier Deschamps' side were knocked out by Switzerland at the last-16 stage, and Varane also briefly trained with Real Madrid during their pre-season, before departing for Manchester.
Fellow new signing Jadon Sancho was given a place on the bench against Leeds after a week of first-team training, and came on in the latter stages of the match to make his United debut.

Ole and his coaches will no doubt be assessing and weighing up when and how the highly experienced Varane might don the shirt for his own maiden appearance.
We should hear more from Solskjaer in Friday's pre-match press conference, ahead of the game at St Mary's on Sunday (kick-off 14:00 BST).