Danny Mills warns Raphael Varane he will take time to adapt to the Premier League’s ‘physicality and intensity’ as he claims the Frenchman – with deal in principle reached for him to join Man United – has been able to ‘coast’ in LaLiga with Real Madrid
Former England defender Danny Mills has warned Raphael Varane that he will take time to adapt to English football and will not be able to ‘coast through’ like he has at Real Madrid.
The world class French centre back is on the brink of joining Manchester United after the Red Devils confirmed a deal in principle has been reached between the two clubs.
Varane is expected to come straight into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defence as a partner for Harry Maguire as United prepare to mount an assault on the Premier League title next season.
Danny Mills has warned Raphael Varane that he will take time to adapt to English football
Mills believes the imminent new arrival at Old Trafford has been able to ‘coast’ in LaLiga games
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to finally have found a partner for Harry Maguire
But Mills, who represented England 19 times and played for Leeds and Manchester City among other clubs, insists Varane will take time to get used to the physicality and speed of the Premier League.
‘We know his pedigree. We know he’s an exceptional talent,’ Mills told Sky Sports News on Tuesday.
‘Obviously, often partnered in recent years alongside Sergio Ramos, it will take him a little bit of time to adapt certainly to Manchester, to Manchester weather. But more importantly the Premier League.
‘We know he’s won everything but he’s had one or two injury problems and he hasn’t played every single game, every single season – he’s had those injury issues in the last few years.
‘I think it might take him a little bit of time to adjust to the robustness of the Premier League.
‘We know in Spain you probably get half a dozen of really tough games in the league if you take away the Champions League but in the Premier League it’s every single week.
‘When you talk to all the foreign players that come over they always talk about the intensity of the Premier League – playing the teams at the bottom you have to fight tooth and nail for 90 minutes every single week – there’s no easy games and that will take some getting used to for him.
‘The Premier League is so different to the Spanish league. This is not a player that will pick the ball up and run at people, an attacking player that will score goals. We’ve seen how it’s difficult sometimes for defenders to get to grips with the physicality of it and the intensity of the games.
Varane was back at Real Madrid for pre-season but is set to join Manchester United for £42m
‘I’m sure there’s a lot of games in LaLiga where he’s been able to coast through at 70, 75 per cent, where they’ve dominated possession and not come under too much pressure.
‘That does not happen in the Premier League – you have to get used to do that very quickly. He’s got a really good partner alongside him in Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw has been exceptional and then Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Trippier in at right back.
‘It’s a positive signing but it’s not one that I’m 100 per cent that he will come in and be absolutely brilliant like we’ve seen with Virgil van Dijk or even Ruben Dias, who came in and was a bit of an unknown, a doubt.’
Varane, who played for France at this summer’s European Championships, only returned to Real’s training ground on Friday for pre-season medical checks. He trained with the Spanish giants on Monday but travel plans were then sorted for his move to England.
It is another huge asset to Solskjaer’s squad. He has already improved his attacking options with the £73m signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
Mills said the French defender has been able to ‘coast through’ LaLiga games with Real Madrid
Varane’s arrival will see Victor Lindelof knocked down the pecking order at Old Trafford. The Swede has struggled to form a reliable partnership with £80m man Maguire.
Sancho’s arrival and the impeding signing of Varane is a major sign of intent from the Red Devils. Solskjaer’s side are desperate to breach the gap between them and rivals City, who won the Premier League by 12 points last season.
United finished second in England’s top flight last term and also ended the campaign as Europa League runners-up to Villarreal – who defeated the Red Devils after a long-running penalty shootout in the Gdansk final.
Madrid have already seen captain Sergio Ramos leave on a free this summer before he was snapped up by Paris Saint-Germain and their summer exodus looks set to continue with Varane, who has played for the club since 2011.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are looking to recover funds lost during the coronavirus pandemic as they aim to build towards a mega-money deal for Kylian Mbappe bid next summer.