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Total Football Scout - Raphael Varane

As Real Madrid cruise towards the La Liga title with another victory away at Real Betis, Total Football's Marcus Banks casts his eye over one of the Bernabeu's most promising youngsters, Raphael Varane.

This week's Total Football Scout investigates whether Real were right to pay almost £9m for the 18-year-old.

NAME: RAPHAEL VARANE

POSITION: CENTRAL DEFENDER

AGE: 18

CLUB: REAL MADRID

SQUAD NUMBER: 19

NATIONALITY: FRENCH

HEIGHT: 6’ 3”

WEIGHT: 76 KG

MARKET VALUE: £7,000,000

HE’S A BIT LIKE: FERNANDO HIERRO

In June 2011, Lens President Gervais Martel confirmed at a club meeting that young defender Raphael Varane will be joining Spanish giants Real Madrid. The statement read: "He [Varane] will play for Real Madrid under the guidance of Jose Mourinho." Varane had previously visited the club and met with club advisor Zinedine Zidane.

In June, Varane passed his medical and signed a six-year deal at the Bernabeu with Madrid paying around £9 million to Lens. Upon his arrival at the club, Zidane said: "He is a very promising player and was an obvious target for a club such as Real Madrid seeking talent. He is a player I like very much and in many ways resembles Laurent Blanc. I haven't seen many players like that."

He was assigned the number 19 shirt and was included in the club’s pre-season squad. His pre-season debut came against LA Galaxy and he went onto play in seven out of Madrid’s eight pre-season games. The Frenchman was also an unused substitute in Los Blancos defeat to Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup.

His competitive debut came in September as he partnered Ricardo Carvalho against Racing Santander which ended in a 0-0 draw. He scored his first goal three days later in spectacular fashion. After starting the game against Rayo Vallecano, Varane caught a Mesut Ozil corner with a magnificent flying back-heel effort which beat Dani Gimenez in the 6-2 rout. The goal made him the youngest foreign player to score a goal for Real Madrid.

Varane began his Champions League campaign against Ajax and he also played against Dinamo Zagreb assisting Jose Callejon for their fifth goal in the 6-2 win. The victory ensured Madrid’s place at the top of their group.

At a commanding 6’ 3”, Varane has the right frame for a powerful defender who is quick across the defensive line. His versatility gives Jose Mourinho extra options in defence and Varane certainly possesses the right qualities to be a great defender for years to come.

By Marcus Banks

Click on any of the names below to see our other Total Football Scout features:

Paul Pogba

Luc Castaignos

Marc Andre ter Stegen

Gerard Deulofeu

Georginio Wijnaldum

Alexandre Lacazette

Neymar

Bojan Krkic

Ross Barkley

Daniel Sturridge

Phil Jones

Raheem Sterling

Julian Draxler

Oriel Romeu

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain


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