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09th Jul 2015

Who is Matteo Darmian? Everything you need to know…

Nooruddean Choudry

Manchester United are on the verge of signing Torino full-back Matteo Darmian. Here’s our comprehensive profile of the Italian defender…

*Matteo Darmian is a product of the AC Milan youth academy. Carlo Ancelotti gave him his debut for the Rossoneri in 2006 at the tender age of 16. Despite impressing at youth level as captain of the side, his opportunities at the San Siro were limited.

*Following a season on loan at Padova in 2009, the then 21-year-old Darmian joined Palermo. Sadly for the youngster, his short stay in the Sicilian capital was blighted by a number of injuries. In fact, he only managed a paltry 11 appearances in the famous pink jersey.

*The following season Darmian made the switch to Torino. It was here that the energetic defender truly blossomed into the player we know today (…we know, not you. That’s why you’re reading this). He secured a regular berth in the side and earned an international call up for the Azzurri.

Italy Training Session & Press Conference : News Photo

*Part of what makes Darmian such a prized asset for both club and country is his versatility. He is equally adept on both flanks and can also play as an auxiliary centre-back. He stands at 6ft tall when up on his tippy-toes and is solid in the air.

*The defender’s playing style is confident and composed. He has excellent stamina and a tremendous workrate. If he were an actor, he’d be Colin Farrell – prolific, utterly convinced by his own ability, and always playing himself no matter what the role.

*Darmian is an extremely intelligent defender, which will clearly appeal to Louis van Gaal. You know that riddle that’s going around the internet at the minute? Players X and Y both played for club Z, etc? Darmian got that straight away. Spoiler alert: it’s Arjen Robben and Mark van Bommel. We know because Darmian told us.

*The Italian international is fleet of foot and strong of heart. He prefers to read the game rather than recklessly jump into challenges willy-nilly. Hence his extremely impressive disciplinary record. In many ways he is the anti-Phil Jones, also because he’s very handsome.

Italy v England - International Friendly : News Photo

*As a young child, Darmian was a huge fan of animated television series Rugrats. However, his love affair with the Nickelodeon cartoon soured after reading this online synopsis. The defender acknowledges that the fan theory is most likely nonsense, but it creeps him out nevertheless.

*One of the surprising factors that tempted the talented full-back to Old Trafford was its proximity to his beloved Darlington. He has always been enchanted by the market town in County Durham, and will finally get a chance to visit the town’s music and real ale festival, Rhythm’n’Brews.

*Contrary to popular belief, ‘Matteo Darmian’ is not a literal translation of ‘Dominic Matteo’. The Italian is sick of being questioned about his non-existent connections to the former Leeds United utility player, and often cuts short interviews as soon as the journeyman’s name is mentioned.