Manchester United

Rio Ferdinand blames Man Utd's culture for Raphael Varane underperforming

Jamie Spencer
Raphael Varane didn't improve Man Utd in 2021/22
Raphael Varane didn't improve Man Utd in 2021/22 / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Rio Ferdinand has put the blame for Raphael Varane struggling in his first season at Manchester United on the ‘alien’ culture and low standards he walked into at the club.

Varane joined United last summer after 10 years at Real Madrid that had yielded five Champions League titles, with his arrival billed as a stroke of genius to finally sort out the defence.

Indeed, the Frenchman appeared in an episode of the recently released The Pogmentary soon after his transfer and was told by Paul Pogba, "All the defenders need a mentor."

But Varane, who was limited to only 22 Premier League appearances because of injuries, ended up being dragged down by the rest in the eyes of former United star Ferdinand.

"He went from one team - the honours there tell you it was a functioning team at the top level, all players playing to their maximum consistently - into an absolute reverse situation where the team has zero functionality, no confidence, no guidance and no structure of where they're going," the retired centre-back said on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel.

Listen now to 90min's Manchester United podcast, The Promised Land, with Scott Saunders &Rob Blanchette. On this week's show they discuss Jurrien Timbers future amid rumours he's rejected Manchester United, the reports claiming a contract has been offered to Christian Eriksen & Paul Pogba's comments in the 'Pogmentary'.

"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.’"

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!