Although Matteo Darmian first arrived in the English Premier League with decent reputation already to his name, it’s fair to say that very few prominent voices within the Beautiful Game ever quite expected the Italian to take to his new life at Old Trafford as well as he seemingly has.
The 25-year-old former Torino star has proved a revelation at Manchester United since Louis van Gaal saw fit to acquire his services this summer, and as the defender also has a fair amount of experience with the Italian national team under his belt at this stage in his career, his future among the English top-flight certainly remains well placed right about now.
So then, although the Red Devils nonetheless managed to sign a whole host of arguably more high profile talent throughout the summer transfer window – including such illustrious names as Memphis Depay, Bastian Schwienstieger and Anthony Martial – does Matteo Darmian in-fact represent the most underrated capture made at Old Trafford in the run up to the 2015/16 campaign?
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Well, if his early form in Manchester United colours is to prove anything to go by this season, the signing of Darmian could well turn out to be not only the best transfer made at Louis van Gaal’s club this summer, but potentially across the entire Premier League itself. For a reported fee of £12.7million, the current league leaders seem to have finally sourced themselves some genuine value for money in the transfer market for once.
When you consider that Luke Shaw was eventually signed at Old Trafford for an incredible £27million, with both Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini somehow costing in the region of £60million between them – it seems obvious that the Red Devils have in-fact been fleeced somewhat in the transfer market of late. The club seemingly haven’t been interested in landing a fair price for their targets and it’s ultimately only served to damage the team’s league form prior to the current campaign…
However through the signing of Matteo Darmian, that particularly concerning trend seems to have been well dodged for a change. There are many other full-backs out there that Manchester United could have easily signed for a ridiculous price this summer without even giving second thought to such a gamble – but seeing as the 25-year-old seems to represent anything but a risk for Louis van Gaal this season – the high flying Premier League club nonetheless deserve credit for finalising such a deal.
The current Italian international somehow arrives as both a modern day flying full-back who has the potential to aid his team heavily in attack from the wide positions, as well as someone capable of playing the traditional full-back’s role – with an emphasis on solid defensive work above anything else. Darmian therefore embodies every approach available in his position, making him a truly valuable asset for Manchester United indeed.
When it comes to breaking up play just when his side need it most, playing the ball calmly out from the back as opposed to lumping it forward in rather aimless fashion, and simply running the entire flank across the entirety of the 90 minutes – this is a player who has failed to disappoint in the Premier League thus far.
Darmian possesses the skill and level of technical ability any first choice full-back needs to make it within the pressure of Old Trafford, as well as all the notorious gamesmanship tactics employed to gain a mental advantage over the opposition. The former Torino defender also offers a fair amount of versatility for Louis van Gaal to consider, as he can play on either wing with the same degree of confidence, efficiency and influence.
Yes, it still remains early days for the 25-year-old in the Premier League of course – and we all know that a sticky patch of bad form could come round to haunt even the most gifted of professional footballers out there – yet as things currently stand, this particular deal nonetheless seems highly profitable for every different party involved. Between the manager, players, chairman and general club supporters alike, there can really be no complaints surrounding this move.
Manchester United fans ultimately have great cause for excitement in their club’s latest defensive recruitment. Although the Red Devils are far from secure across every single area of van Gaal’s desired starting XI, the signing of Matteo Darmain certainly represents the most underrated capture made at Old Trafford this summer – and perhaps even across the rest of the league itself if his current form continues in such impressive style.