Matteo Darmian finally left Manchester United yesterday to join Parma on a permanent deal.
£1.4 million was not much, but it beats having to loan him out or having to keep him and pay his wages.
This was an exit which really should have happened a year ago, and United have done well to finally get him off our books.
To his credit, Darmian never once complained about his situation at United.
Nor did he sulk or actively agitate for a move, he got on with his task, trained, and was ready when called upon.
Darmian arrived at United as an Italian international and his career has stalled at Old Trafford. He turns 30 in December.
Genuinely we feel good for him that he can move on, try and get back on track, and aim to earn a spot in Italy’s Euro 2020 squad.
Where did it all go wrong?
Darmian’s United career actually began pretty well. He started at right-back in the 1-0 win over Tottenham at Old Trafford in 2015.
Louis van Gaal praised his debut, telling the BBC: “The first time you play at Old Trafford it’s always difficult, but I liked the performances especially from Darmian.”
The solid start from the Italian did not last. There was one performance in particular which probably still haunts him.
The 3-0 loss to Arsenal at The Emirates in October 2015 saw Darmian turned inside out by Alexis Sanchez.
That was back when Sanchez was tearing up the Premier League. It was a shame he never produced anything like the same form for United.
After this display, Darmian never really looked the same, and United fans did not view him with the same trust we did before.
The Italian should have bounced back from this, but he never really did. Sadly it could be the defining performance of his United career.
Darmian filled in last season in tough fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester City. It was hardly fair to put him in these positions without regular game time, and the defence struggled.
United’s signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer highlighted that this was the end of the road for Darmian.
Wan-Bissaka already looks better than Darmian ever was, even in his initial performances for United.
We have a lot of hope that the young Englishman will not drop off in the same way as the now departed Italian.
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