Raphael Varane

Varane in line for Old Trafford debut

Saturday 11 September 2021 04:00

Raphael Varane could make his Old Trafford debut for Manchester United against Newcastle United on Saturday.

The French centre-back impressed on his United bow against Wolverhampton Wanderers before the international break, providing the assist for Mason Greenwood’s late winner. The experienced World Cup winner slotted in seamlessly alongside Harry Maguire at Molineux, topping off his solid defensive display with a well-earned clean sheet.

Reds manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks that our supporters will be excited to see the Frenchman play in red for the first time at the Theatre of Dreams.

"Well, they enjoyed him walking out to the pitch before the Leeds game and I think that created some of the atmosphere, of course," the Norwegian told club media ahead of our meeting with the Magpies. 

"I’m sure they’ll take to him, against Wolverhampton he showed what he was going to give us. He’s of course been away, played two games for France. Everyone knows his qualities, personality’s fantastic in and around the place, he’s a winner. To add him and Cristiano as proven winners in the group, with Jadon of course with his youth and enthusiasm… That’s been a big, big bonus. He’s impressed, he’s impressing every day."

Why Varane and Pogba are leaders


The United pair have been shown delivering stirring dressing room speeches during the international break.

Our new no.19 famously announced himself to the Theatre of Dreams in style ahead of our opening-day clash with Leeds United. The elegant defender walked on to the Old Trafford turf in a sharp suit holding his new United shirt before taking his iconic selfie in front of the Stretford End.

Against the Magpies this weekend, the 28-year-old could be wearing the famous red shirt instead of holding it, as he hopes for his first Reds home appearance against Newcastle.

But it won't be the first time the Frenchman has played in M16. In 2013, in our UEFA Champions League clash with Real Madrid, Varane played the full match for the Spanish side. 

The competition for places is strong in the United backline, with Varane, Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly all available for selection.

Our captain has been virtually ever-present since he joined from Leicester City in 2019, with Lindelof being his most consistent partner during the last two seasons.

The Sweden captain put in a strong performance against our Yorkshire rivals on the opening day, even providing an assist for Bruno Fernandes.

Who Ole opts to select in defence against the Magpies remains to be seen, but Saturday’s line-up will be revealed an hour before kick-off, which is at 15:00 BST.

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