Danny Mills’ suggestions that Raphael Varane will struggle to adjust to the Premier League have been rejected by Terry Gibson.
Manchester United have significantly beefed up their defense, announcing a tentative deal for the Real Madrid star earlier this week.
With three La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and a World Cup winner’s medal under his belt, many believe Varane will make the Red Devils a much stronger team. Mills has a caveat or two about the 28-year-old, however.
He is skeptical of Varane’s ability to cope with the Premier League physique, while suggesting that the Frenchman may not be used to the volume of big games in England as he has claimed he would not have had only to worry about “eight difficult games per season” playing for Real Madrid.
Gibson insists there are many tough games per season in Spain and also thinks the idea of England’s top flight being a particularly physical league is outdated. He added that Varane could become the greatest center-back to ever honor the Premier League.
“I watched what Danny said and you watch this straightforward, physical approach that he describes in the Premier League – it doesn’t exist anymore,” Gibson told talkSPORT.
“The idea that there are only a few difficult games in a La Liga season, certainly more than ever, no longer applies. It’s a much more competitive league – Villarreal finished seventh last season and looked after Arsenal and Manchester United in the Europa League.
“Raphael Varane is a supreme center-back and could possibly be the best center-back of all time to play in the Premier League.
“He’s a sensational footballer, I’m not sure anyone has the status they have in the Premier League or ever had in the Premier League when it comes to the honors they’ve won.
“I think we should be more respectful of the opposing leagues, they are for the Premier League. In Spain, they hold him in high regard, they almost envy the commercial success and the brand associated with the Premier League.
“They don’t denigrate the league, they think it’s a competitive league with great teams, great players, great coaches and I think we have to start doing that with other leagues across Europe as well. . “
Gibson admits he’s shocked Varane is going to Man United, saying he didn’t expect the player to leave the Bernabeu in what will likely be his peak years.
However, Gibson believes one of the reasons they sold Varane was to help fund the move of French teammate Kylian Mbappe.
“I’m really surprised, in some ways you can see why as he’s looking for a change,” Gibson added.
“At 28 he’s still in his prime and we often see players making that decision in their 30s to try something different, but I think it’s a bold move on his part.
“It is also suitable for Real Madrid to increase their income. They have similar problems as Barcelona in terms of reducing their payroll. All LaLiga teams are experiencing the same problems due to the lack of income in recent seasons due to to COVID.
“The salary caps have all been reduced and Real Madrid are no exception.
“They’ve spent a few pounds the last few seasons and now they’re trying to get some back to raise funds possibly for Mbappe’s move in the near future.”