Manchester United have completed the signing of Torino defender Matteo Darmian after he agreed a four-year deal with the option of a further year, the club have confirmed.
The news will allay fears that United fans had seen materialise after a lack of signings this summer, having seen the club’s transfer business judder to a halt after completing the acquisition of Netherlands winger Memphis Depay before the end of last season.
With the Premier League club pushing on with their transfer business though with confirmation that they have agreed to sign Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger as well, Darmian becomes the newest face of Louis van Gaal’s side, so here we take a closer look at the 25-year-old.
Name: Matteo Darmian
Position: Right-back or centre-back
Has played for:
2006-09 – AC Milan
2009-10 – Padova (loan)
2010-11 – Palermo
2011-2015 – Torino
2015-present - Manchester United
2006/07 Champions League (AC Milan)
2007/08 Uefa Super Cup (AC Milan)
Despite not making a single Champions League appearance for the AC Milan in 2006/07, Darmian picked up a winners’ medal as he was named in the 25-man squad for the campaign, capping his debut season with the highest accolade available at club level. Darmian made his Serie A and Coppa Italia that year, though over the course of his three years at the San Siro he made just six appearances in all competitions and moved on loan to Padova for the entire 2009/2010 season.
Darmian finally got a taste of first team football at Padova, where he made 20 appearances for the club – who would go on to survive relegation by the skin of their teeth in the form of a relegation play-off.
But upon his return to AC Milan, Darmian was sold to fellow Italian side Palermo for €800,000 in a co-ownership deal that would see him jointly owned by the two clubs. However, after making his debut in September 2010 and staring his first Serie A match in February 2011, he was loaned out to Torino at the start of the 2011/12 campaign, and Palermo decided to purchase the remaining 50 per cent that Milan had held on to, only to sell it on to Torino for a €325,000 profit.
It’s at the Stadio Olimpico where Darmian found his feet, as he consistently featured in the first team with at least 30 appearances in all four seasons he spent with the club, helping them to qualify for the 2014/15 Europa League in which they reached the last-16.
Internationally, Darmian enjoyed a tremendous breakthrough year last year that not only saw him oust Milan's Ignacio Abate as Italy's first-choice right-back at the 2014 World Cup, but saw him named the nation's player of the year for his standout performances.
He joins United as a direct replacement for unwanted defender Rafael, and it’s more than likely that he’ll slot straight into the first team to free up Antonio Valencia, who has been forced into a makeshift right-back in Rafael’s absence. While Darmian can play in the middle of the defence, it’s unlikely that Van Gaal will resort to deploying the Italian at centre-back given the options he has on his hands in Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcus Rojo, Jonny Evans and Paddy McNair, while the prospect of Sergio Ramos arriving at Old Trafford remains a very possible one.
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