Varane working on defensive connections

Recently, though, all the attention has been on his former Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo after his astonishing return to the club.

Varane is more than happy to not be the name in the headlines though and just wants to let his football tell the story.

“No, I don’t play football for this focus. I just want to help the team.

“I just want to do my best, I just want to improve and to be like who I am on the pitch.

“I want to do my best, that’s my objective and my mentality.”

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Lingard looking for capital gains

Jesse only has fond memories of his time in the claret-and-blue colours of West Ham and there is no doubt he was a major driving force behind their qualification for Europe.

“Like I’ve said, it was a reset for me personally, I wanted to play games, help the team get into the Europa League, which we did, and I enjoyed every moment of it,” Jesse told us. “The lads were brilliant, the staff were brilliant and the fans supported me throughout.

“On a personal level, it was about getting minutes, doing well for myself and trying to get back into the England side but, as a collective, Europe was massive for West Ham and one of the goals we wanted to get to.

“The manager gave me the freedom up top to roam about, get on the ball and try to make things happen. With the run of games I had, the confidence kicks in and, once you’ve scored one, then two and three start going into the back of the net. I wasn’t short of confidence playing and it was one of the best half-seasons I’ve had so it was a brilliant experience.

“Obviously, you don’t get into Europe if you’re not a good side. West Ham are well organised and can counter quick and be hard to break down. So it’s going to be a tough game and we’ve got to be at it, if we want to get the three points. We’ve trained well so we’ll go into the game confident.”

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How West Ham prepared for Sunday’s game

Kurt Zouma made his Hammers debut after his transfer from Chelsea earlier this month, with fellow summer signing Nikola Vlasic appearing from the start for the first time in a claret-and-blue shirt.

In the Premier League, Sunday’s opposition started the season by beating Newcastle United 4-2 at St. James’ Park before firing four past Leicester City in a 4-1 triumph at the London Stadium.

After the two wins, two draws have followed, 2-2 versus London rivals Crystal Palace and a goalless stalemate against Southampton.

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Under-18s live on MUTV this Saturday

Elsewhere, Neil Wood’s Under-23s continue our Premier League 2 campaign with Brighton & Hove Albion the visitors to Leigh Sports Village. 

The young Reds will continue the search for a first victory of the new season when the Seagulls make the trip up north, off the back of several battling performances in the opening weeks.

Brighton have made an impressive start to the campaign and are currently level on points with league leaders Manchester City at the top of the Division 1 table, having registered three wins and a draw from their first four matches.

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