While I’m not sure how Roma suddenly became in the market for a right back—they have a fully fit Alessandro Florenzi and the perpetually disappointing Bruno Peres—here we are discussing yet another option, one who, much like Peres before him, has seemingly been connected to Roma every transfer window since time immemorial, Manchester United’s Italian do-it-all defender Matteo Darmian.
Darmian, you may recall, rose to prominence with Torino before making a big money move to United in the summer of 2015 for approximately €15 million. Not exactly a bank breaking sum for United, but it definitely raised expectations for a kid moving to the theatre of dreams.
And, well, Darmian’s time in Manchester hasn’t exactly been fruitful, as he’s seen his playing time decrease every year since his debut. This season has been particularly frustrating (one would imagine) for Darmian, as he’s fallen behind Daley Blind, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia in Jose Mourinho’s fullback pecking order, leading many to speculate about his future in northern England.
With no future as a regular member of the rotation, United are seemingly willing to let Darmian walk this winter, with Roma reportedly waiting with open arms. For Roma, the reasoning is obvious: Darmian is only 27 and can play a variety of roles across the backline and even midfield in a pinch, making him the perfect salve for a frequently injured club like Roma.
It’s at this point where we usually wax on about the player’s motivation during a World Cup year, but, well, you’ve seen what Giampiero Ventura has done to Italy, so that might be a bridge too far for Darmian.
Nevertheless, if the price is right, I can’t think of a better signing for this particular Roma. Darmian would provide cover at both fullback positions, enabling EDF to rest Florenzi and Aleksandar Kolarov while easing Emerson Palmieri and Luca Pellegrini back into the fold.
The winter transfer window is seldom exciting, but this is a move I can definitely get on board with.