Ray Parlour was effusive in his praise of new Manchester United signing Raphael Varane after his composed debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
The France international, who moved to Old Trafford from Real Madrid this summer, has a burgeoning trophy cabinet from his time in the Spanish capital and a World Cup winner’s medal to boot.
Yet after a decade in Spain, the 28-year-old decided to once again move out of his comfort zone and test himself in the Premier League as he nears the peak of his career.
His first taste of top-flight English football came against Bruno Lage’s rampaging Wolves team at Molineux and the elegant defender was at his refined best in the 1-0 win.
As well as keeping a clean sheet, it was Varane’s raking pass from deep which found Mason Greenwood to score the winner, exemplifying the quality the centre-back will bring on and off the ball.
Speaking on Thursday morning, Parlour compared the impact of Varane to that of United legend Rio Ferdinand and Manchester City stalwart Ruben Dias – who won the Football Writers’ Player of the Year as City lifted the Premier League title and reached the final of the Champions League.
“I think Varane had a really good game,” he said on Breakfast. “He looked like a Rolls-Royce.
“You know like Rio back in his day for Manchester United?”
“Varane could be exactly the same as Ruben Dias,” Parlour added. “The impact he made at Manchester City, they will certainly have a go.
“You know Harry Maguire plays every game, he is a leader, and if they can get the partnership in the way that John Stones has really benefitted.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could hardly contain his excitement when reviewing Varane’s debut, complementing the experienced defender on his leadership skills behind the scenes as well.
“Top, top performance,” Solskjaer said of Varane. “This was welcome to the Premier League: tempo, hustle and bustle, tackling, he had to defend counter-attacks.
“He’s good in the air, he’s so composed on the ball, he’s so experienced and nothing fazes him. He was good in the dressing room before the game and at half-time, I’m delighted with his performance.
“I thought he showed his class.”
Download talkSPORT Edge NOW!
It’s the free football app that keeps you one step ahead of your mates with short, sharp and shareable content.
Whether it’s goals as they go in or the latest from your club, stay up to date with everything going on in football with breaking news, live scores and in-app betting.
Download talkSPORT Edge in the App Store here.