The signing of the Uruguayan right-back Guillermo Varela came as a surprise to most Manchester United fans. While a similar pursuit of young Nick Powell (yeah, he's fun to watch!) was quite documented this time last season, Varela's trial (which lasted for 10 days) and subsequent signing largely lew below radar.
Almost as if they read the fans' mind, ManUtd.com have put together a couple of very interesting articles on the young South American.
This makes for interesting reading: although Varela has played minimally for his club back in Uruguay, he apparently impressed in the U20 championship qualifiers on all aspects - physical, mental and technique. Reports suggest he was the standout player of the tournament. More impressively, he was called up for a 10-week trial training with the first team squad completely, under the eye of Sir Alex. Ok. Now I believe that bit about mental strength a bit more.
Reports also suggest that Varela is very un-South-American in his dedication to defense and his physicality. This is intriguing, as we have the true-blooded, lion-hearted Rafael Da Silva as the current established right-back, and I for one expected this signing to be on the same lines.
Game time will be hard to come by for the youngster this season, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones (not to mention Antonio Valencia) all being more than passable backups for Rafa in our first team. However, he seems like a talent to monitor.