Matteo Darmian: More Than a Scapegoat

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24: Matteo Darmian of Manchester United looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on November 24, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

After signing in 2015, Italian full-back Matteo Darmian has struggled to cement a spot in Manchester United’s first team. He has often been scapegoated for United’s poor run of form. However, having considered all things, it is evident that Darmian is more than just a scapegoat.

Matteo Darmian: A Talented Full-Back

On The Pitch

Whilst Darmian is not one competing for the Ballon d’Or, he does have the requisite level of skill to marshall the right flank and control a back line. His inconsistencies over the years have clouded over some of his match-winning performances. As an Italian defender, he does bring the strength and discipline that has been drilled into him whilst playing in Italy. His commitment to the team and putting his body on the line to save a goal is admirable and is often taken for granted in the modern game.

In recent years, Matteo Darmian has been used as a squad player and doesn’t often play in the Premier League or crucial Champions League games unless Antonio Valencia or Ashley Young are injured. However, when he has been given the opportunity on the big stage, he rarely disappoints. He shows great character when giving away the ball and has no fear of sliding into tackles. Physically, Darmian is not the strongest or quickest full-back, however, he does a good job to utilize his physique to his advantage.

Off The Pitch

Off the pitch, Manchester United and their players are always subject to scrutiny by the critical English press. Players like Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford along with others at the club seem to love the attention of social media, jumping on the latest dance trends and, at times, causing controversy among the fans. However, Darmian’s maturity comes across effectively as he professionally disregards the media’s opinion of him and keeps away from social media to focus on improving his game.

Fans have been quick to jump on the Italian’s back after a loss, but no one handles the criticism better than Darmian. His maturity is admirable and love for the club is greatly underappreciated by the club and the fans. Despite being heavily linked with a move away to Juventus in the summer and continued speculation about his future at Manchester United, he still continues to put in full effort and rise to the occasion in times of need.

The recent surge of youngster Diogo Dalot has caught the eye of  Jose Mourinho and fans, making it even harder for Darmian to break into United’s first team. However, full faith lies in the Italian that he will continue to support the team and step up when needed.

It is time United fans appreciate and recognize the services of Matteo Darmian during his career at the club. Clearly, he is more than just a scapegoat.

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