November 3, 2022 || 11:49 pm

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Real Sociedad defender Robin Le Normand has labelled Raphael Varane “an i’nspiration”, adding that he’s enjoyed multiple chats with the Manchester United centre-back.

Le Normand joined Sociedad in 2016 as a youngster and has managed to work his way up to the first team. Bar a spell on the sidelines with a m’etatarsal fracture which kept him out of the clash at Old Trafford in September, the 25-year-old has been a regular fixture in the La Liga side’s squad this term.

Varane and Le Normand have enjoyed similar journeys from French football to Spain’s top tier, and the Real Sociedad man was full of praise for the Frenchman when asked about their previous meetings. “Rafa Varane is an example for me, an inspiration even, someone who went from the French second division to Spain as a young player to win everything with Real Madrid,” he told The Athletic.

“He’s one of the best in the world. I played against him a few times.

“He’d speak to me after the games in French. Small chats, he’s a good guy, a real competitor in the game but friendly off it. It shows that if you work and you have the talent, the physique, you can reach the top.”

Le Normand will be hoping his side can remain top of their Europa League group after Thursday’s clash with United. Real Sociedad know that if they avoid defeat or are only beaten by one goal they will top the group. Should United fail to win by at least a two-goal margin, they would have to enter a play-off round to qualify for the next round of the competition.

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