By, Kyle Gibson
Amid the predictably major excitement of signing Germany legend Bastien Schweinsteiger yesterday, another Manchester United transfer was slightly overlooked.
Make no mistake, however, that the club’s second Saturday signing, Matteo Darmian of Italy and Torino, could prove to be very important for Louis Van Gaal’s team.
It’s no secret that Manchester United needed to strengthen its back line, especially right back. Rafael has been shunned by LVG after failing to make an impression. The team’s other choice for the role, Antonio Valencia, is a natural midfielder who was exposed on numerous occasions.
So, enter Darmian, who at 25 has plenty of experience under his belt.
He was brought up in the AC Milan youth system during the team’s height of the European scene, making his first team debut at age 16. He then was brought under co-ownership by Palermo and Milan in 2011 and then loaned to Torino in Serie B in 2011.
Torino later signed him and he was named to the Serie A Team of the Year in 2014.
It’s rare to have a player with so much first team experience at age 25. This is by no means an unproven asset, which is important for Van Gaal and a team that needs to increase defensive shape now.
Watching highlight film of Darmian, he appears comfortable at the back and defending 1v1. More importantly, he can get forward and is comfortable with the ball at his feet. He looks like the right back version of Patrice Evra.
For 13 million pounds, United may have found a great deal that can fit right into the team and succeed right away.