Antonio Valencia’s impressive performances at right-back for Manchester United this season have seriously limited Matteo Darmian’s playing time. The Italian international hasn’t appeared in the Premier League yet this season, and only once has he made the bench.
It has been a surprising fall from grace for a player who initially impressed after arriving from Torino last summer, and his agent has warned that an exit may be the only solution. Quoted in the Daily Mail, Fausto Pari hinted a move — perhaps to Napoli:
“He's playing little or nothing and it's a shame because he's an Italy international. If the situation doesn't change by January, we'll have to think of something. He risks also losing his place in the national team.
“We've got to see what United want to do. Italian clubs have tried, but United closed the door immediately. We're only at the start of October so there is still time and we will see how the situation evolves.
“Napoli have [Ivan] Strinic in that position, though. It will be up to them to decide whether they want to make a move for Darmian.”
Pari hasn’t said anything that comes as a great surprise — Darmian’s clearly still a quality player, and at 26 years old should be playing regular first-team football if he’s to maintain his place in Giampiero Ventura’s national side. He was an unused substitute in Italy’s draw with Spain on Thursday, with Alessandro Florenzi preferred at right wing-back.
For the time being, it’s hard to see this ending in anything other than a fairly swift Darmian exit.