New Manchester United signing Raphael Varane is a defender in the same bracket as Virgil van Dijk, according to Rio Ferdinand.
United added the classy centre-back to their ranks this summer after a summer-long chase. The long-time Real Madrid man signed for an initial £34m rising to £42m with add-ons and he has already been thrown into the action.
The France defender had been linked with United for years, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the 28-year-old his top defensive target and got a deal over the line last month.
And Ferdinand is sure that United have got a diamond, a real winner, who has three LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues titles to his name with Madrid.
Varane also has a World Cup winners medal in his trophy cabinet and Ferdinand believes he and Liverpool defender Van Dijk at the top of the world pecking order for defenders.
Speaking on a special edition of his FIVE podcast, Ferdinand said: “When he’s fit, over the last couple of years he’s [van Dijk] been the go-to guy.
“He had the biggest impact on a team, certainly in terms of centre-backs, over probably the last three years.
“Varane I would say is up there. Him and Varane, [Sergio] Ramos in previous years, as well, they have been the top boys. It’s that consistency and the ability to win.
Varane ahead of Dias
“Varane is unrivalled alongside Ramos in terms of winning, but with the way his form has been over the last three years, van Dijk has been immense, man, he’s been crazy.”
Ferdinand also thinks Varane and Van Dijk are ahead of Premier League-winning defender Ruben Dias at Manchester City .
“In terms of a signing, Raphael Varane for Manchester United… He’s what I’ve been asking for over the last three or four years, or five years,” Ferdinand added.
“[Ruben] Dias has been great, but he only played last season. I’m talking about consistency over a number of years. Those guys are probably apart at the moment.”