Matteo Darmian – 10 things you need to know about Manchester United’s new right-back

by Leo Nieboer

Unless you were a fan of Torino last season, you wouldn’t have seen much of Matteo Darmian in action.

Manchester United’s new right-back has been quietly impressive in his first two performances at the club but not much is known about him.

With that in mind, here’s a list of ten things you need to know about Darmian where you can find out a bit more about the new Italian in town.

1. Darmian grew up in the depleted area of Rescaldina where his father, Giovanni, was the coach of his local football team before he was scouted by AC Milan at the age of 14.

2. The defender began his senior career at AC Milan aged 16 under Carlo Ancelotti, making his debut in a Coppa Italia game against Brescia in November 2006. He went on to make his Serie A debut against Udinese at just 17.


3. Despite being born and raised in the Lombardy town of Legnano, Darmian is actually of Armenian origin.

4. Before his successful time at Torino, Darmian struggled immensely at Palermo. The defender featured 16 times in a season blemished by injury and form issues. Seemingly struggling to cope with the tenacity of Serie A, he moved back to Serie B in 2011, signing for Torino.

5. Traditionally a centre-back in his younger days, the Italian has developed the ability to play across the defence during his time at Torino.

Darmian has the steel and awareness to fulfil the centre-back role as well as the stamina and discipline to dominate in the full-back position, which is a rare trait.


6. Darmian is United’s first Serie A import for 14 years. Juan Sebastian Veron was the last player to join United from Serie A, moving from Inter for a fee of £28.1m in July 2001.

7. Darmian was named in AC Milan’s 25 man squad for their triumphant 2006/07 Champions League winning campaign, thus earning football’s biggest accolade in his first season at the club (although he didn’t feature once, he experienced being part of a winning side).

8. Those questioning whether Darmian can perform on the big stage should remember Italy’s World Cup game with England in 2014.

On what was just his third appearance for the national side, Darmian was a rampant force at right-back in the nauseating Amazonian heat.

The 25-year-old was an incessant force throughout, stifled Wayne Rooney for most of the game and pulled apart Leighton Baines as Italy won 2-1.

Many foreign imports struggle in England but Darmian’s treatment of England in the World Cup suggests that he’ll have no problems with settling into the physically demanding Premier League.


9. Darmian made 117 Serie A performances for Torino in the last three seasons. The right-back has cemented himself as a regular in Italy’s top flight and earned a spot in the ‘Serie A Team of the Year’ in 2014 after impressing many with an unflappable, no-nonsense approach to defending that helped Torino qualify for the Europa League.

10. Alongside being an indomitable defender, Darmian can attack as well. Last season, Darmian created more chances (39) than Valencia and Rafael put together (32).

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