Raphael Varane is one of the main leaders at Manchester United and has stressed the importance of character in winning teams.
The French defender has captained United in their opening two pre-season fixtures and is a member of Erik ten Hag’s six-man leadership team at the club.
With gulfs of experience of winning trophies at the highest level for Real Madrid, Varane knows exactly what it takes for United to take the next steps into challenging for the Premier League and Champions League again.
“We need players with character and personality,” he told club media. “If you want to win big trophies you need that kind of character. The difference between a good team and a top team is sometimes something mental.
“We need to believe, we need determination and the character of the players is something important.
“We want to fight for every trophy. That’s the expectation for this club. We want to grow as a team, be more consistent and fight to be at the top. That’s what we want.”
There are definitely more leaders within the squad. And there is another player who has joined the squad with a great mentality.
Andre Onana officially signed for United on Thursday and has joined up with the squad in America for their pre-season tour.
His interview ahead of last month’s Champions League final against Manchester City is a perfect example of the mentality that his new teammate Varane was talking about.
In response to the question “If I say Erling Haaland, what do you say?” Onana’s answer was simple: “Nothing. What do you want me to say?”
“No fear?” the interviewer then probed further.
“Of him?” Onana replied. “A man is not afraid of a man – why would I be afraid?
“For sure he is maybe one of the best,” he added. “But do you know who I’m afraid of? God – but I don’t see him on the pitch. So for me, a man does not make me afraid.”
His confidence was then shown in the final, where he was Inter Milan’s best player and unfortunate to be on the losing team.
It seems clear that the goalkeeper will bring a positive mentality to The Reds as Ten Hag continues his rebuild at Old Trafford.
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