Both Manchester United and Arsenal signed new centre-backs in the summer, and of course, as conversations around football usually go, comparisons were made between the two.
Now I think Ben White is a good centre-back and though expensive with a reported fee of £50 million to Brighton & Hove Albion to secure the defender's services.
Around the same time, United also moved to upgrade their defence. No matter how much potential White has, he would never compete with Raphael Varane, especially when United were able to secure the Frenchman's services for less than Arsenal paid for White.
Varane's reputation preceded him. The defender was part of the three-in-a-row Champions League-winning Real Madrid side, dominating Europe under Zinedine Zidane. Still, he also had multiple La Liga titles and a World Cup to his name, so for United to secure his services in the prime of his career for an initial fee of around £32 million was seen as a coup for United.
The only doubts that United fans could have possibly had about Varane was surrounding his injury record. It eventually reared its ugly head early in his Old Trafford career, with the defender being ruled out for a month with a hamstring injury.
His absence would not have done a lot to save Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's job, as United had been struggling even with Varane in the side. There was only so much that the Frenchman could do to sure up a defence that was in chaos, and with two clean sheets in nine appearances, he will be disappointed in his start to life at Old Trafford.
White, in contrast, has been having an excellent start to life at Arsenal. After a shaky start for the whole team, he has found his footing, and Mikel Arteta's team has kept eight clean sheets in 12 games since their 5-0 loss to Manchester City.
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White has gained plaudits for his composure and his ability to help Arsenal play out and build from the back. With Arsenal vs Manchester United on the horizon, summer's debate between the player and Varane will likely rear its head again.
However, despite the headstart that White has got over the Frenchman due to managerial issues and injuries, in the short and long term, Varane is still the better signing. Hopefully, under Ralf Rangnick, he will be able to show it.
In his limited appearances for United, Varane has always looked like one of the best players on the pitch. His composure on the ball and also his intelligence when working off it has shone through. Usually, the defence has looked consistent with him, with individual errors more responsible for conceding.
It is also telling that United's worst defeats have come without the Frenchman on the field, so when he returns, he will give United something only a world-class centre-back can.
Under Rangnick, there is the hope United will be better coached, and the Frenchman can finally shine through at the heart of the team's defence and show again why he is considered one of the best defenders in the world.