However, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not far from having a powerful squad capable of fighting for the Premier League title and being competitive in the Champions League as well.
With Jadon Sancho finally on their books, United’s defense looked like it could be a source of their problems next season. That was until a tentative deal was reached with Real Madrid for defender Raphael Varane with costs estimated at £ 42million.
On the other hand, Arsenal is at the heart of a major reconstruction. Staff, players and fans know they are not within reach of immediate glory, they are looking for long term success.
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Therefore, the pending signing of England defender Ben White from Brighton for £ 50million is a wise business for the Gunners.
So, although they were bought with two completely different goals, some have come to the conclusion that United’s signing Varane is a much better deal than Arsenal’s buying White. But are they really comparable? Is it a case of capacity vs longevity?
Who do you think is the best signing? Comments below
French defender Varane has had a career filled with trophies so far, winning: three La Liga titles, four Champions League titles, one Copa del Ray, four FIFA Club World Cup titles as well as the Cup of the World 2018.
The 28-year-old is certainly talented, he wouldn’t have made 382 appearances for Madrid if he hadn’t been.
He will provide a strong and experienced voice in the locker room and give his attacking teammates the confidence that all is well in defense.
Varane is a fast, strong and complete defender. He thrives in a high pressing line due to his quick wit and energy, but he’s equally comfortable sitting deeper and putting his body on the line at the edge of the box.
Solskjaer needed a partner as good as England’s Euro 2020 hero Harry Maguire to fight for the titles, he found one.
Comparatively, Whites do not have Varane’s experience but are also a competent defender.
The 23-year-old is a true modern-day center-back. He plays well from behind and is ready to move forward and join the attack if necessary.
White is comfortably more versatile than Varane, being able to play as a right-back, right-back and a central midfielder, which really showcases his passing ability and good reading of the game.
The former Peterborough, Newport County and Leeds lender is really only lacking in the air capabilities department, with his size and jumps making it difficult to compete for long balls against big, powerful forwards like Harry Kane and Edinson Cavani.
In 36 Premier League appearances for Brighton last season, he always read the game well, looked confident in possession and was destined for a big hit.
At 28, Varane is in his best years as a center-back. He is at a stage in his career where he has made mistakes, knows his job inside out and is ready to crown his career with success for a few seasons.
United have secured the former Lens man a four-year contract, which can be extended for another year, so they will have the defender for what should be his best years.
Alongside Luke Shaw, Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Varane is the missing piece of the puzzle for United. Solskjaer has no excuse not to hand out winning trophies from this point on – assuming they don’t lose Paul Pogba in this transfer window.
It is reported that Arsenal will also guarantee White a four-year contract but, despite having the same contract length, their signing continues to improve. He is far from the best he can be.
Although he will enter the Gunners’ defense with relative ease, he will need to improve with the rest of the squad to make Mikel Arteta’s men competitive again.
Although that shouldn’t be a problem given the praise from Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa and Brighton manager Graham Potter both praised the prospect’s work ethic and desire to learn.
Arsenal can make the Whites the defender they need.
Of course, paying big bucks for a player who has never played for a first-half team is a risk, but it’s an educated risk based on the likelihood that Whites could be one of the better defenders. league in the future.
Overall, the two signings match the needs of both clubs. Is it fair to compare them now when bought with the future in mind? Not really. You cannot fairly compare a finished product with a work in progress.
Varane currently has more ability than White, but he isn’t going to improve much more and White will be there for many seasons to come and may improve beyond him in the future.
United’s signing gives the club an opportunity to earn silverware immediately, while Arsenal’s upcoming signing brings an already assured defender into the locker room who can become a player who can help the club through the first half. side to one side of the first four.
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