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One of the unsung heroes in the United squad, Matteo Darmian can be relied up upon whenever selected, with his versatility key to occupying either full-back position depending on the situation.

Providing solidity and discipline out wide, the Italian represents a useful option in defence and, when fulfilling the left-back berth, complements Antonio Valencia or Ashley Young's attacking approach down the right by providing extra cover. The Italian’s career at Old Trafford has been blighted by a number of long-term injuries and over the years he has struggled to maintain a consistent run of games in the starting XI. Darmian was one of Manchester United’s first arrivals in the summer of 2015, during Louis van Gaal’s spell in charge, making the same journey from Torino that United legend Denis Law made 53 years earlier, to become the fifth Italian to represent the Reds. He immediately looked at home in the right-back spot, gaining many plaudits for his wholehearted defending and adventurous forays further up the field. Indeed, he won the Player of the Month award during his opening weeks at Old Trafford, such was his eye-catching introduction to English football. His first major setback occurred when he suffered a dislocated shoulder against Sunderland in February, but Darmian still ended his debut season with almost 40 appearances for the Reds, scoring a belter against Crystal Palace to register his first goal for the club. Despite not making as many appearances in 2016/17 as he did during his debut season at the club, he will have been encouraged by his overall performances and was outstanding in the Europa League final against Ajax, surely the most important match of the entire campaign. During 2017/18, the Italian played a vital role in United's cup ventures. He featured regularly in United's FA Cup run to Wembley and played in the semi-final against Tottenham. He also was a key figure in the League Cup and the Champions League, and consistently provided dependable performances when called upon. A regular for Italy, with World Cup experience under his belt, he represented AC Milan, Padova, Palermo and Torino in his homeland and actually made his debut for Milan as a raw 16-year-old. With his country steeped in the tradition of defending with resilience and organisation, he has had the perfect upbringing to make the transition to the Premier League. Reckoned to be one of Europe’s most tactically astute full-backs, his ability to get forward to good effect is allied to plenty of defensive nous, traits which have been evident over the last couple of seasons.

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    v Tottenham (H)

You just have to be ready for when the manager gives you a chance.


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Matteo Darmian says

"I can play at centre-back. Of course I play at right-back and left-back, for me it doesn't matter. I try to do my best every time and I try to help the team to reach the victory."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says

"Matteo was the biggest plus [against Reading]. He looked like he had played at centre-back for a long time. I don't think he put a foot wrong."

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