It looks like Torino fullback Matteo Darmian is heading to Old Trafford. But who is this player that has drawn attention from some of Europe’s elite clubs?
Darmian is a very consistent player who was one of Italy’s best players at the World Cup last summer. A former captain of the Milan youth system, the boy from Legnano had pedigree and although he debuted at 16 years of age, he was soon shipped out to Padova on loan. This was surprising due to his talent and was perhaps amplified by his quick moves to Palermo and then Torino in 2011.
Perhaps part of his early failings came to the fact that he played at centre back and his rise back to the top came when it was identified that he was exceptional at full-back. With pace, good (and alternative) passing abilities, a calmness under pressure and a dynamic style of play it is no wonder that he had soon established himself with the Granata.
In 2013-14, he excelled to a level saw him start to be considered for the international stage. Torino under coach, Giampiero Ventura were now playing in a 3-5-2 with the famous attacking partnership of Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci. The full-back was not only providing his constant defensive duties but also he was was the man who would be first to receive the ball as the opposition move broke down, his dynamism and creativity after this proved essential for the team.
In a game against Parma last season for Torino, Darmian dominated the right side of the pitch in a way that United have not seen since the best days of Gary Neville.
Darmain will not only make United better defensively, but his experience in a back-three or a back-four gives van Gaal the tactical flexibility that he wants.