Real Madrid can count themselves lucky that they are awash with so many fantastic exponents of the defensive art.
Renowned for the breakneck speed at which they attack, and the calibre of player therein, the excellence within the defensive ranks is often overlooked. Despite a penchant for the controversial and needlessly getting into trouble more often than is necessary, Pepe is still a player that any club would love to have at the heart of the back four.
Strong, combative, quick and good in the air, Pepe's incredible will to win makes him the complete package. Ditto Sergio Ramos, who many would deign to suggest is a significant upgrade on his Portuguese colleague.
Sevilla must rue the day that they let him leave, because there is no doubt whatsoever in Ramos, Los Blancos have one of the world's very best. Not averse to the odd controversy himself, Ramos has absolutely everything in his locker and has to be one of the first names on Carlo Ancelotti's team sheet.
And then there's Raphael Varane - A player that could well outstrip both of his club mates and become one of, if not the, world's best defenders.
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The young Frenchman burst onto the scene as a 19-year-old but injuries and then an associate loss of form curtailed his progress somewhat.
Now back to his very best, it's hard to understand why the Italian is only playing Varane sporadically. In many respects he has been better than both Ramos and Pepe this season, and crucially has age on his side. At 21, he is almost the full package already and will only get better, so suggestions that he may be allowed to leave are baffling.
David Wright of the Daily Express even notes that Varane could be signed by Chelsea for as little as £19m.
Jose Mourinho would have every chance of landing the player given that it was he who gave the Frenchman his debut in Madrid and has always been fulsome in his praise. With Pepe especially coming towards the twilight of a distinguished career, it makes no sense whatsoever to allow Varane to head out of the exit door.
For all intents and purposes, he is the model professional, hugely enthusiastic and willing to learn. Unlike many of his peers, he is an old head on young shoulders. Madrid wouldn't really allow it to happen...would they?
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