The athleticism of a teen, the maturity of a 35 year old veteran- Raphael Varane is the centre back for the future of both Real Madrid and France. His ability to read the game makes him a top prospect with his ability to intercept, a particular strong point. He also has a surprising amount of competency on the football with a pass completion average of 84%, impressive for a 19 year old defender.
Already the best defender on Real Madrid’s books, he has much more calmness on the football than Pepe and has placed himself higher in the pecking order than Raul Albiol. It pays testament to the development he has made since joining from Lens. It is little wonder that Mourinho expects him to an impact on the international scene: “Varane has the same intelligence, the same calmness on the ball and the same presence as Laurent Blanc on the pitch,” France have lacked a quality centre half for a number of years, but Raphael Varane has the ability to lead a side that will be under pressure to challenge for Euro 2016. Mourinho continued to suggest Varane can surpass the legendary French defender: “But with all due respect to Blanc, Varane is much faster. For now, he is still a kid. But I hope and I think when he reaches maturity at 26-27 he will be better than Blanc,”
Raphael Varane certainly has the ability to captain the French national team. France has not been blessed with an influx of fine young footballers, but Varane will be the envy of every national team manager. France manager, Didier Deschamps has challenged him to remain at a high level: “He must maintain his level of performance for a long period [if he is to play for France]. The level he has set is very high.”
In the classico’s he was the star man, keeping Barca at bay. He showed them up to be an average outfit, raising the question whether the Catalans are crumbling. Over the two legs he also showed his goal scoring ability with two goals over the two legs. It is just another dynamic that will make him head and shoulders above the rest.
The praise doesn’t stop coming for Raphael Varane, team mate Pepe spoke of Varane’s abilities: ‘’He has a bright future ahead of him and has worked hard to achieve this level of performance’’ Zidane’s persistence needs to be applauded, with Real lacking a world class centre back. It was a position that needed to be covered.
Arsenal will be cursing their luck at missing out on Raphael Varane, Arsene Wenger admitted that he had tried to sign the young defender: ‘’At the time he was at Lens, we tried to sign him.’’ With Arsenal currently harbouring a defence that was easily manipulated by Tottenham, he would have been the ideal character to have in the back line.
Something is obvious about Varane, he is a top talent. A player that shows signs of being the best centre half football has ever seen. With Real Madrid improving this season, he could marshal a defence that could be European champion. However comes in to take over from Mourinho, they have acquired a real gem with spending a Euro.