Technically Guillermo Varela was the first signing of the David Moyes era at Manchester United. In reality Moyes didn’t know much about the Uruguayan.
Varela signed as a teenager in the summer of 2013 and did not get a game under Moyes.
He got chances under Louis van Gaal and began to impress before making an error in the Europa League against Liverpool. After that he was promptly removed from the first team picture.
A loan spell to Stuttgart followed, which ended disastrously after he fell out with management.
It was no surprise then that the decision was made in 2017 to sell Varela.
Varela’s frustrating United stint could have broken him. Instead it has been the making of what could turn out to still be a very successful career.
He made a smart move to reset and rejoin Uruguayan club Penarol.
Varela instantly commanded a role as a first team starter and led Penarol to win the league title in a nail-biting play-off win last season.
Now Varela is bidding to become a back-to-back champion. Penarol currently lead Uruguay’s Clausura championship, which will conclude later this year.
Most impressive of all, Varela was called into Uruguay’s squad for this summer’s World Cup.
Now 25, a return to Europe could beckon, but you’d have to ask why.
Varela has already sampled life at the biggest club in the world, and is now starring as a hero for his hometown club.
It is a shame he never really got going at United. Coming into the club immediately into the post-Ferguson era did not help.
Perhaps it was never meant to be, but it is nice to see him succeeding regardless.