Raphael Varane: Man Utd squad must understand fan importance of Manchester derby

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Raphael Varane has urged his Manchester United teammates to prove their bond with supporters by giving their all in the Manchester derby.

The team has previously been accused of lacking character and genuine passion for United, although those concerns have gone out the window in recent weeks as Erik ten Hag has guided the team to four consecutive Premier League victories.

The 3-1 win over Arsenal was a significant result, but United face the biggest test of the Ten Hag’s reign yet on Sunday when they travel across Manchester to face reigning champions City, and Varane has warned his team-mates to rise to the occasion.

“The rivalry mainly comes from the fans, it’s important to them and we respect that,” Varane told L’Equipe. “We want to make them happy, so we want to fight and win against teams like City and Liverpool.

“You have to feel what the fans expect from you and what they want. It’s very important.”

Varane himself has not escaped criticism from fans as he has yet to live up to expectations following his move from Real Madrid in 2021, but France manager Didier Deschamps insisted his compatriot will battle the ailment that plagues United.

“He wasn’t at his best, but is his club at his best?” Deschamps said when asked about Varane recently.

“It’s not his happiest period. But apart from that, Raphael has such a story with us. He’s shown enough of what he’s capable of. It’s up to him to reverse the recent trend.”

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