Raphael Varane and Bruno Fernandes.

Bruno feels Varane can be a leader

Tuesday 28 September 2021 09:00

Bruno Fernandes is delighted to welcome a leader like Raphael Varane into the Manchester United ranks but has emphasised the fact that the club has a wealth of options at centre-back.

Varane did not start the defeat to Young Boys in the opening Champions League tie in Group F for the Reds but looks likely to be in the XI for Wednesday's visit of Villarreal, particularly with skipper Harry Maguire a doubt due to the injury that forced him off against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be forced to make changes in defence with Aaron Wan-Bissaka suspended and Luke Shaw also withdrawn due to a problem sustained against the Villans but Fernandes, speaking in the official match programme for the clash with the Yellow Submarine, knows there is real strength in depth at the heart of the back four, with Varane a quality addition from Real Madrid over the summer.

"Of course, he’s a winner," declared Bruno to United Review. "Everyone knows that. He’s a nice guy and works really hard and is always pushing everyone to do better.

“I think he has a great mentality but, at the same time, we cannot forget the other players. Rapha has been brilliant, but Victor [Lindelof] has had an amazing, brilliant beginning to the season. Eric [Bailly] comes later because of the Olympic Games, but he’s a player we trust a lot. ‘H’ [Harry Maguire] we already know is doing really well.

“At the same time, we have Phil [Jones] coming back to start playing with the Under-23s – we are really happy to have him back after a long, long stop for him. It’s been difficult for him, being out of the team for a long time.  

"Rapha is really important for us, and has been really important for us. But the main point is everyone being okay to do the best that they can. In football, we all have different qualities, and Rapha has different qualities to Victor, H, Eric and Phil, but they can all add different things.

“Still he’s a little bit shy in some ways, because it’s the beginning for him at United, but I think he’s a leader. I think he can help in that part of the game."

Buy United Review to read the exclusive Bruno Fernandes interview in full.