Kevin Phillips has hailed Manchester United’s newest signing Raphael Varane, citing him as a potential hero for the club going forward.
During an interview with Football Insider, Kevin Phillips has offered his take on Manchester United’s acquisition of Raphael Varane. The Sunderland legend has made some eye-catching comments, notably hailing both Varane and Harry Maguire as the two of the best defenders in the world.
It appears Phillips has been left awed by the performances of Manchester United defenders over the past 12 months. The likes of Luke Shaw, Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have indeed emerged as some of the best in their positions in the Premier League. But the former Leicester City footballer believes that it is new signing Varane who can make the difference.
A centre-forward back in his day, the 48-year-old said: “You build a good side with a solid defence. Varane coming in alongside Harry Maguire, with Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a very good backline.”
Phillips, in fact, believes that the defensive combination of Varane and Maguire could go a long way in restoring Manchester United’s lost glory in the coming years, even comparing it to the legendary duo of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, effectively becoming the second pundit to echo such statement, after Patrice Evra.
“From the era I played in when you had your Ferdinand’s and Vidic’s, it’s like Man United are getting back to that. Bringing in established players with that quality and in Varane they have that, he’s brilliant. I imagine the players are delighted, it gives you a load of confidence, especially for the attackers,” he told Football Insider.
The 48-year-old goes on to say that the two central defenders are even “two of the best in the world for that position”, which may spark controversy among the onlookers. “They now have two of the best in the world for that position, maybe it’s a sign of the times that they are getting back to where they once were,” he said.
But one thing is for certain, Manchester United are building something substantial as they look to finally compete with Manchester City and Chelsea for the Premier League title next season. It is essential that their new signings Varane and Jadon Sancho fire straight away, with the Frenchman, in particular, expected to offer the leadership that was missing in recent years.
With just two weeks left until the start of the season, it will be interesting to see how these two stories unfold at Old Trafford.