Ten Hag admits Man Utd better with Varane as defensive leader

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says Raphael Varane is now their defensive leader.

The French centre-back, 29, endured a difficult first campaign at Old Trafford last term following his arrival from Real Madrid.

A number of injuries contributed to his lack of form, but now the 2018 World Cup winner appears to have found his top gear under his new Dutch boss at the Red Devils.

After their Europa League win at Sheriff Tiraspol, Ten Hag told MUTV: “The reason (for another clean sheet) is we were good in possession and we defended very well.

“With Rapha Varane there as the leader, he puts everyone in the right position, he fits really good together with Licha Martinez and also the two full-backs did their job really good.

“Difficult start, opponent really played direct, opportune, go for second ball, we lost too many balls at the start of the game.

“But after a certain period I think we found a better formation, especially over on the left side.

“And you see we can play between the lines and we adapted our game and we scored a great goal and from that moment on we dictated the game total.”