Former World Cup manager Claude Le Roy has slammed Manchester United defender Raphael Varane after France succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Tunisia in Qatar.
The centre back did not enjoy the best of matches against the Carthage Eagles and was at fault for Wahbi Khazri’s winner.
And the man who guided Cameroon to their second African Cup of Nations titles was unimpressed with Varane’s performance, believing it to be a symptom of a general lack of authority from the defender.
“He’s not a leader,” said Le Roy live on L’Equipe du soir (Quotes via Sport.fr).
“I never thought he was a player who had such charisma that he could coach others. Against Tunisia, he had a neutral, bad match, with a catastrophic recovery.
“It’s a match where he doesn’t weigh at all because he stayed level with the others. He is someone who needs players at a higher level alongside him to raise his level himself. It’s not a trainer, it’s a trainer.”
Man United fans will certainly see that criticism as harsh given his performances at Old Trafford this season.
Varane has been crucial at the back for the Red Devils and his experience was invaluable to their defence before his injury against Chelsea back in October.
He has forged a fantastic partnership with summer signing Lisandro Martinez which could become the bedrock of a successful United side in the near future.
But having rushed back from injury to make the World Cup, the former Real Madrid defender is well aware that he is somewhat short of full fitness at this time.
“Inevitably, I am not yet at 100% of my physical potential,” he said during France’s press conference last weekend.
“I worked hard to be here, and I hope to get stronger during this competition.”
With France facing Poland in the first round of the knockout stages, Varane will need to step up his game if he is to keep FC Barcelona star Robert Lewandowski quiet.
The match takes place at 3pm on Sunday and should prove to be an intriguing encounter despite the French being heavy favourites.