United have announced that they have completed the signing of Italian international right back Matteo Darmian from Torino.
Most United fans anticipated early transfer activity this summer with Van Gaal keen to re-balance his squad and that activity in enough time to allow the assimilation of new players into his squad for a full pre-season. But after the early acquisition of Memphis Depay there has been very little to report until the last few days and this has resulted in much frustration amongst many Reds. The arrival of Darmian then to address one of the areas of perceived weakness, right back, is welcome.
Last year Valencia, a defensive winger was the first choice right back. Rafael doesn’t seem to be to Van Gaal’s liking, he may now leave the club whilst a related question is whether the new player’s arrival releases Valencia to play elsewhere or consigns him to the role of permanent back up? Time will tell.
25-years-old, Darmian came through the youth ranks at Milan but never managed to establish himself as a first team player. He was initially loaned to Padova in Serie B before moving permanently to Palermo in 2011. A year later he moved again, this time to Torino where his career took off. In his four seasons there he has made 152 appearances for the Serie A club.
Having played for Italy at every youth level Darmian made his full debut immediately before the 2014 World Cup and went on to play in all his country’s games in Brazil. Italy had a disappointing World Cup, returning home after the group stage although he was widely regarded as one of few positives from the tournament and was later voted as the national team’s player of the year.
Darmian started his career as a centre back but usually features as a right back now. On occasions he has featured as a left back or wing back. No doubt this versatility is a characteristic which appeals to Van Gaal. Wherever he plays he is a strong, fast, determined and accomplished defender who is rarely beaten in one-on-one. Tactically astute and flexible he is first and foremost a defender, but he also has an eye for an attacking for foray.
You can read more about Darmian here http://manutdtactics.com/?p=4414 in a piece by @DaveSelini for our site in May of this year. 1-nil to David
It’s no secret that the manager is looking to strengthen our defence to provide the base stability to allow the more attacking players the freedom to use their creative talents to the full. With this in mind he is a welcome addition.
Matteo Darmian, welcome to Old Trafford.