Raphael Varane

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Raphael Varane

Post by Mr Nick09 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:18 pm

Meet Raphael Varane, 18 yo French Wonderkid we beat PSG and MU to. It was reported by L'Equipe that he was leaning towards us, and now the chatter is that he made his decision today as expected, and will become our 4th RM signing. Thx to Zizou for this one, they also speculate that mourinho signed off on this deal himself.



Spanish medias are speculating we will be joining the squad which i highly doubt. He might join us for the preseason, but I expect him to stay in France for minimum another season, as it was the big concern for his parents.

Deal is expected to be 5 year.



For those who dont know about him, here is a write up some dude on Redcafe did, i thought it was fairly accurate and detailed to get enough hindsight.

I've been watching this lad play over the last few days and while I have only watched him eight times I feel pretty safe in saying he has all the tools required to become an excellent player. In fact for someone who just turned 18 a few weeks ago it's remarkable how complete and ready he already is. His L'Équipe rating based on 19 starts this season is 5.53 (for reference league leader Mamadou Sakho is 6.10) which makes him Lens's best player according to them (the site currently lists Adil Hermach, 5.36, as their best player but I assume that's because you have to have a certain number of starts to qualify for that list and Varane's 19 isn't enough), so we're not just talking about potential we're talking about someone who has already been putting in some very good (and consistent, his individual match ratings this season have all been 5s and 6s apart from two 4s and one 7) performances. So with that introductory spiel out of the way here are some of my thoughts:

The first thing to note about Raphaël Varane is that he has a weird ë in his name. The second thing to note is his physique. According to L'Équipe he is already 1.91m (6 ft 3) tall and weighs 85kg. He's also fairly agile and while he's no sprinter he is definitely not slow either. So the physical foundation is clearly there, it's just a matter of him learning to use his body to his advantage. He's already good in the air (his aerial duel success rate is 70% according to WhoScored.com, though I should note that he generally lets his CBs (if he is playing DM) or his CB partner deal with most of the aerial situations) but when it comes to using his body in close marking situations he can still improve. For example against Bordeaux last week he had some difficulties dealing with Diabate's physical presence and his back-to-goal play. I don't want to make it sound like he was struggling badly because he wasn't, and even though Diabete was able to hold up the ball and shield it from Varane relatively comfortably it never led to any dangerous situations, but a more physical and experienced CB would have been able to shut down Diabate even better. All that said given the physical tools he has there is no reason to think he won't be able to develop those skills in the future.

His physique isn't his biggest strength however, his biggest strengths are his tactical skills. His positioning, both as a DM and as a CB, is excellent, as is his awareness of his surroundings. His anticipation is also very good and it helps him make a lot of interceptions (2.9 per match according to WhoScored.com (and they get their stats straight from Opta in case you are unfamiliar with their site)). In everything he does he really exhibits a composure and maturity that is remarkable (there's that word again) for someone so young.

When he goes in for a tackle he almost always stays on his feet instead of sliding in, and my eyeball test says his success rate is ok, but he is definitely more of an interceptor than a tackler and in general prefers to keep the player in front of him and try to block the passing lanes and his path rather than going straight for the ball. The one exception I've noticed is when he has a player in front of him with his back to goal and the ball is coming into his (the player's) feet, he is quite aggressive in trying to slip round him and get his foot to the ball before he can receive the pass, which can at times leave him exposed to being turned. It's not a major concern but something where experience will help him in choosing the right moments to go for it.

My early impression of his technical skills is positive. I don't want to speak definitely because even though his passing stats on lfp.fr claim he attempts c. 40 passes per match he hasn't been that involved in Lens's passing play in the matches I watched. Particularly when he played as a DM his off the ball movement when Lens were in possession was a little passive for my taste. That said Lens don't really care much for extended spells of possession and instead prefer a direct style, playing the ball quickly to the flanks then trying to get crosses into the box, so if played in a more possession-oriented system it's possible he would be more active.

There have however been small glimpses of good control, first touch and one-touch passing and even in tight spaces under pressure he doesn't panic. He also seems comfortable passing the ball with either foot. He always looks to play the ball out of defense rather than hoofing it upfield or out of play. His overall pass completion rate is on the low side (76%/WhoScored.com) but from the eyeball test I can say his first instinct is to play the ball forward and I really can't remember too many occasions (nor do I have anything in my notes) of him passing it back to his goalkeeper, so 76% isn't that bad. One thing he could work on is his pass selection. At times (and I don't want to make this seem like a bigger deal than it is) he chooses passes which put his team mates under mild pressure, like when a team mate is coming towards him with an opposition player right on his heels, it doesn't really accomplish anything passing the ball to him so choose another option. But again, it's not a glaring flaw by any means.

As for his position I like him best as a CB. When he plays in central defense he plays almost like a sweeper, letting Yahia deal with all the grunt work and just tidying up all the loose balls that slip through. While a very physical striker could target him and cause him problems I like his defensive qualities so much that that possibility wouldn't deter me from playing him at CB.

When he plays as a DM in a 4-1-4-1 system he plays almost as a third CB and his performances in that role have all been very good. The only time I didn't like what I saw was when he played as a DM in a 4-2-3-1. There he got forward more, and generally played a more advanced role and I don't think that was the best use of his skills (at least at this moment in time). He wasn't as good defensively and his passing/on the ball/attacking qualities weren't enough to make up for it. If he were to join United I think playing him at CB would definitely be the best use of his skills.

Which I guess brings me to the only thing people actually care about, should United try to sign him? While I generally try to stay away from such comments since there are so many factors involved I have no way of knowing, I will say that if Brown leaves this summer (and my feeling/guess is that he will) then he needs to be replaced and I think Varane could be an excellent replacement. In my opinion he is already good enough to start some matches for United, especially if paired with Rio or Vidic, and obviously still has a lot of potential for improvement. I also like that in style he is similar to Rio and I think he could give Evans some much needed competition for the "Rio's replacement" job (as a tangent, some people seem to still consider Smalling Rio's replacement but for me his style and skill set is much more Vidic than it is Rio). If Brown doesn't leave then we don't need a new CB and any potential signing would depend more on how Sir Alex sees Smalling and Evans (and to a lesser extent Gill/Wootton/Thorpe etc) fitting into the long term plans of United's central defense, but based on what I have seen I would say the special talent clause applies here and if the reported £3m price tag is accurate then I think it would still be worth trying to sign him even if it meant loaning him out somewhere for a year or maybe even two. So I guess even though I don't like saying we should try to sign this player I'm saying we should try to sign this player. Oh well.


Last edited by St_Nick09_of_Goal on Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:56 pm; edited 6 times in total

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Nicolas Cage on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:20 pm

hm interesting...

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Doc on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:25 pm

One, why you have a neg 13 and TMO has a +16 rep? Also, have never seen him play before and from what the Redcafe guy wrote, I'm probably missing out. It's quite rare to find mature defenders at such a young age. But I ask Nick, how certain you feel this is gonna be the 4th signing?!

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Babun on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:32 pm

I don't know him well, nick. Is he really good? You know youth doesn't really count in RMA unless they're ready to go from the start. Rate him between 1-10 for me as MATURE defender and don't forget to leave possible French bias aside Very Happy


Last edited by babun1024 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by shaven on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:33 pm

rather have a more experienced players for our CB.
molding a youngster in the first team is not madrid
if they want to mold a players use the castilla team

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Mr Nick09 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:37 pm

@Doc wrote:One, why you have a neg 13 and TMO has a +16 rep? Also, have never seen him play before and from what the Redcafe guy wrote, I'm probably missing out. It's quite rare to find mature defenders at such a young age. But I ask Nick, how certain you feel this is gonna be the 4th signing?!

how certain? i think it's almost done.
-on monday he got a tour of the bernabeu by zizou himself
-he had to make a decision between us and PSG.
-L'Equipe reported he was leaning towards us, but his mom wanted PSG for him
-RMC a french radio said he picked us finally.

he was supposed to chose today, so i'll monitoring L'Equipe for an update.

I dont know him well myself tbh, but i have heard journalists talking about him, and Man utd picked up the trail first, and i know SAF knows defense... Sportsczy watched him more than i did i think, he started in the french ligue 1 at 17, and he pulled out veteran like performances.

It's a case of a youngster showing too much maturity and quality at 17, that you know that by 21 he is gonna be one of the best young CB around.

someone called him a cross between Ferdinand and Baresi (body and tactical awareness), a bit precoce of course...


Last edited by St_Nick09_of_Goal on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Nicolas Cage on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:38 pm

well he needs molding, but what better than become the most hyped up young defender in the planet? Rolling Eyes

garay or drenthe gtfo when we buy coentrao, welcome to the team varane.

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Doc on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:39 pm

Well, hope he turns out as good as his talents is promising. Remember, Real Madrid isn't the kindest place for all budding talents...

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Mr Nick09 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:43 pm

@shaven wrote:rather have a more experienced players for our CB.
molding a youngster in the first team is not madrid
if they want to mold a players use the castilla team

Our most talented CB at the moment in the castilla is 17, Ivan Saez and he plays for Juvenil; meanwhile Varane is beasting in ligue 1.

If we loan him NOW, then we are pretty safe.

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Nicolas Cage on Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:00 pm


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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Onyx on Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:41 pm

From what I read there he seems a good player. Good technical skills, doesn't hoof the ball etc. We should buy him and he should stay there for a while. We don't want another Canales or Garay situation.

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:51 pm

Wunderkid.

Plays very tactically. His upside is a tall version of Thiago Silva.


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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Mr Nick09 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:53 pm

Crimson rated him higer than Sakho in the second half of the season... interesting.

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:57 pm

Well i don't agree with that at all. Sakho was just a plain beast who plays very tough and is also very tactically aware. Playing for PSG is a completely different animal than playing for a relegation team.

Sakho doesn't lose physical duels. Varane is in the early learning stages.

I do not like this move by Varane. He is not Madrid starter quality right now and he needs playing time.

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Mr Nick09 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:58 pm

I saw Sakho bodying Gomis like a child, lmao. that guy was bothering Pepe and carv

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:02 pm

League 1 is much more physical... if you're soft, you will eventually get exposed. Look at Gourcuff for example. They figured out that you just need to get up on him since he is not very fast.

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Guest on Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:03 pm

Sakho is not the player you want to get physical with... he is very, very strong.

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Nicolas Cage on Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:10 am

according to punto pelota, who almost never posts anything an label it "official" when it isnt,



in the next few hours varane will be announced madrid player?

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Mr Nick09 on Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:31 am


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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by Mr Nick09 on Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:16 am

News is gonna be official in a few

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by nj on Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:45 am

what a shit decision he made.

i mean, he just made too big of a step there,
1st he should have chosen a club like Paris, where he could have been an important player, and keep on developping,
cause as said some pundit in France, if he does go to RM, "its like going from junior school to university in the space of 1 year".

i dont know who he advisors are but they are pretty useless.
sorry its not a dig at Real, but it just gets on my nerve seeing things like that.

Canales story all over again
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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by teamanarchy on Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:10 am

Canales/Garay/Drenthe/Gago story it may be...
But then again, what if he turns out to be a carbon copy of Ramos' developement.

I'm not saying it's the right move for him, and I'm certainly not saying Madrid is a great club to develope at. What I'm saying is that even though there are a million stories of failed developement at Real Madrid... every once in a blue moon there is a story of success...
Ramos
Higuain
Marcelo

And bear in mind, these developemental success are always the result of a coach who knows what he's doing, ala Capello.

Mourinho is a coach that knows what he's doing, he'a developed countless unkown talents into stars.
And as far as we know, Mourinho is backing this move.

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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by nj on Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:18 am

@teamanarchy wrote:Canales/Garay/Drenthe/Gago story it may be...
But then again, what if he turns out to be a carbon copy of Ramos' developement.

I'm not saying it's the right move for him, and I'm certainly not saying Madrid is a great club to develope at. What I'm saying is that even though there are a million stories of failed developement at Real Madrid... every once in a blue moon there is a story of success...
Ramos
Higuain
Marcelo

And bear in mind, these developemental success are always the result of a coach who knows what he's doing, ala Capello.

Mourinho is a coach that knows what he's doing, he'a developed countless unkown talents into stars.
And as far as we know, Mourinho is backing this move.

in an important time like this for you guys, when you wants to beat Barca at all costs and win the CL after all those years,
do you really think that Mourinho will trust a 18yr old that had only 1year in Ligue 1, and who is still developping and doesnt even know what's his best position is between CB and DM?
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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by EarlyPrototype on Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:44 am

Great news. He will get loaned out why is everyone losing it lol? only way he will stay if Mateos, Garay and Albiol both leave then we will have Varane and Carvalho to cover for Ramos and Pepe.
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Re: Raphael Varane

Post by teamanarchy on Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:02 am

@nj wrote:
@teamanarchy wrote:Canales/Garay/Drenthe/Gago story it may be...
But then again, what if he turns out to be a carbon copy of Ramos' developement.

I'm not saying it's the right move for him, and I'm certainly not saying Madrid is a great club to develope at. What I'm saying is that even though there are a million stories of failed developement at Real Madrid... every once in a blue moon there is a story of success...
Ramos
Higuain
Marcelo

And bear in mind, these developemental success are always the result of a coach who knows what he's doing, ala Capello.

Mourinho is a coach that knows what he's doing, he'a developed countless unkown talents into stars.
And as far as we know, Mourinho is backing this move.

in an important time like this for you guys, when you wants to beat Barca at all costs and win the CL after all those years,
do you really think that Mourinho will trust a 18yr old that had only 1year in Ligue 1, and who is still developping and doesnt even know what's his best position is between CB and DM?
Look, I don't know exactly what happens in Mourinho's mind, but I will give you a description on what I would guess goes on...
Mourinho is a coach who's ambitions lie not only in silverware, but in developement. He takes interest in his players as well...
http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/marcelo-mourinho-father-figure-real-madrid-players-1383471

So, Mourinho like to rejuvinate players who are considered over-the-hill, and he loves to create stars out of young talents.
Take a look back from his porto days all the way through to his time now as coach of real madrid, he is responsible for the kick-start to superstardom for more players than I can remember. Let me list a few names here:
Paulo Fareirra
Deco
Carvalho
Helder Postiga
Nuno Valente
Essien
Drogba
Lampard
Terry
Muntari
Sneijder
Milito
Thiago Motta
Maicon
Lucio
Walter Samuel
Marcelo
Benzema
etc.
I mean, these are players who have been put on the map thanks to Mourinho, in some cases entirely.
So, I would assume that this 18 year-old is at least one of Mourinho's next "player developement projects"

Madrid already have 3 world class centre backs in the form of Pepe, Carvalho and Ramos. Not to mention, Garay and Albiol can be trusted to a very large extent.
So Raphael will develop in the wings, or maybe on loan back in France (very likely).
And who knows, maybe in the not so distant future, we'll be discussing how he made David Villa or Lionel Messi or whoever look invisible...

OR
He could become a waste of money and talent, and you will laugh in my face and show me the link to this post....

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