Connect in the back of the net

Earlier this week, Manchester United and Torino agreed a fee for Italy full back Matteo Darmian.  It’s reported that the Serie A side Torino agreed to sell their prized defender for £12.7million (€18m).  So let’s take a closer look at the Italian.



Darmian was born in 1989 in Legnano, North West of Milan. He joined Milan’s youth ranks after breaking through with non-league side, Carcor.

His senior-team debut with Milan came in the Coppa Italia match against Brescia in November 2006.  The 16-year-old, at the time, was introduced as a substitute for Kakha Kaladze.

Half a year later, Matteo got his first league start for the Rossoneri in the match against Udinese. He went on to feature one more time in the Coppa Italia in the 2007/2008 season. That year the young talent took the captain`s armband in the youth team.

In the summer of 2009, the Serie B side Padova loaned the youngster. Matteo enjoyed an excellent loan stint and played plenty of games that season – making 20 appearances and scoring the once.

The following season, the defender moved to Sicilian outfit Palermo. The size of the transfer fee the club had paid to secure Matteo Darmian was €800k.

He made a good contribution at Palermo, displaying solid defensive capabilities. The centre-half registered a total of 16 matches for Palermo in all competitions.

In the summer of 2011, Torino completed the loan of the player. A year later, Palermo sold 50 percent of Darmian’s contract to the Torino.

Coming through the ranks at International level with Italy U19 and U21’s Darmian made his senior debut  in 2014. He travelled to the World Cup to Brazil and was probably the only Italian player to come out of that tournament with their head held high – he has 13 caps.


What can he offer Manchester United? 

Matteo can offer his new club versatility; he is able to play on the left and right back positions and even central defence.

Manager Louis van Gaal is a big admirer of players able to play in various positions – this is highlighted by last summer’s acquisitions Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo. United’s squad already includes a handful of players who can play across various roles, allowing the Dutch coach to change the formation/tactic with ease.

The Italian’s arrival could lend itself to Van Gaal utilising a back three. He tried this during the early stages of last term but switched to four after United struggled to adapt. Darmian can slot into the gut-busting full-back role easily, supporting midfield from deep but also dropping to make a five-man defence when possession breaks down.

His attacking ability is just a good as his defensive. At Torino, he 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.

It must be noted that the £12.7m fee is very cheap. Had Darmian been English or Spanish, I think he would have gone for at least double that figure.

With right back options Rafael and Antonio Valencia not working out for Manchester United, the fans will hope Darmian’s Torino form continues at Old Trafford – if it does, he will turn out to be an excellent signing.


Written by Serie A Writer

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