Rio Ferdinand: Raphael Varane was STUNNED by the state of Man United after arriving from Real Madrid

‘He went into a reverse situation’: Rio Ferdinand TEARS into ‘youth team’ culture and standards Raphael Varane encountered on joining Manchester United as he defends his stuttering first season

  • Rio Ferdinand has discussed Raphael Varane’s first season at Manchester United
  • Varane arrived at Old Trafford from Real Madrid amid much fanfare last summer
  • The French defender’s season was disrupted by several injuries and poor form
  • The legendary former Red Devil said he was like a ‘rabbit in headlights’ at times
  • He also said he’d have held a Player of the Season award to shame certain stars

Rio Ferdinand insists Raphael Varane must have been astonished at Manchester United’s dire set-up after joining from an all-conquering Real Madrid side last summer.

The French center half arrived at Old Trafford for around £35million amid much fanfare, but endured a disappointing first season disrupted by several injuries and poor form.

And iconic former Red Devils defender Ferdinand, speaking on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel, claimed Varane, stunned by the awful state of the club, was like a ‘rabbit in headlights’ at times during last campaign.

Rio Ferdinand has claimed French defender Raphael Varane (above) was stunned by the state of Manchester United after signing from Real Madrid for around £35million last summer

Rio Ferdinand has claimed French defender Raphael Varane (above) was stunned by the state of Manchester United after signing from Real Madrid for around £35million last summer

Varane won 18 trophies with the Spanish side but endured a tough first season in Manchester

Varane won 18 trophies with the Spanish side but endured a tough first season in Manchester

He said: ‘He went from one team – the honors there tell you it was a functioning team at the top level, all players playing to their maximum consistently – and went into an absolute reverse situation where the team has zero functionality, no confidence, no guidance and no structure of where they’re going.

‘He went into an alien scenario where he’s going “I have not seen this since youth team football”. To go from that world-class operating and culture and standard on a daily basis to what is at Manchester United is a huge, huge shift.

‘He’s probably sitting there like a rabbit in the headlights thinking “wow, what is this?” He hasn’t been the player we expected… he would tell you that, he couldn’t tell you anything else. He’ll be saying “I’ve got to up the levels next year. I need help.’

And Ferdinand insisted Varane looked like a 'rabbit in headlights' at times in his first season

And Ferdinand insisted Varane looked like a ‘rabbit in headlights’ at times in his first season

And Ferdinand also commented on the Premier League side’s decision not to hold a ‘Player of the Season’ award for the senior men’s team, given their struggles.

The 43-year-old said he would have put on an awards evening, to shame certain players for their underperformance or lack of effort, insisting he could act as a catalyst for them to improve for next season.

He added: ‘I understand why they haven’t done it, because there’s nothing to be applauded. But I think, as a club, I would have made them go in there and squirm… especially for the ones who you feel have tossed it off and if you think they genuinely haven’t given it everything, they should go in there and feel that embarrassment.’

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