Manchester United defender Raphael Varane was unveiled on Saturday to the Old Trafford faithful.
Varane has since agreed to terms with the club, as the 28-year-old put pen to paper on a four year contract.
Despite the heavy signings done by Chelsea and Manchester City, with record breaking deals for Romelu Lukaku and Jack Grealish, Paul Merson hailed Varane as the signing of the summer.
“Raphael Varane will turn Manchester United into title contenders – he’s the signing of the summer in the Premier League. I think it’s as tight as it’s ever been this season and there’s four teams who could win the league,” Merson told the Daily Star.
“United weren’t one of them but Varane changes that. I think that’s a major signing. With all the class and experience he brings with him from Real Madrid, I think he’s going to have a massive impact.”
Merson further revealed that with the Varane and Harry Maguire, Manchester United can build a Rio Ferdinand/Nemanja Vidic partnership that is hailed as one of the best in the Premier League era.
“United now have a new Vidic and Ferdinand partnership to rely on at the back. Maguire can get tight to people and Varane can sweep up behind with his pace.
“United played with two holding midfield players a lot last season because Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t trust his defenders. They won’t need to do that now. They were as good a counter-attacking team as anyone last season.
“But now, with Varane, they can take more risks and play on the halfway line. That’s important against the lesser teams. You can really put them under pressure instead of having that fear of one long ball over the top catching you out.”