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Former Manchester United star slams Louis Van Gaal's managerial style

Manchester City v Feyenoord - UEFA Champions League
Manchester City v Feyenoord - UEFA Champions League
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 30 Apr 2021
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Former Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian has called former Red Devils boss Louis Van Gaal a "rules freak" as he opened up about his time under the Dutchman at Old Trafford.

Darmian played for Manchester United from 2015 to 2019 and was signed by then-manager Louis Van Gaal. The Dutchman was relieved of his duties at the helm of Manchester United a season after Darmian's arrival at the club. The Italian defender has now spoken about Van Gaal's strict and blunt style in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.

The former Manchester United fullback has said Van Gaal called him aside on his first day at the club and made his feelings and expectations very clear.

“A rules freak. He was the one who wanted me at United. One of the first days in Manchester, he took me aside and said: ‘You are here thanks to me. You have my trust, you will play for your spot with [Antonio] Valencia. Know that the name doesn’t matter to me’. And so it was”.

Darmian's time at Manchester United

FC Internazionale v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A
FC Internazionale v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A

Matteo Darmian signed for Manchester United in 2015 from Italian side, Torino, in a move worth €18 million. He was a first-team regular in his initial spell at the club, largely making the right-back spot his own. However, his frequency in the starting XI dwindled as seasons progressed due to managerial choices amidst various injuries.

Darmian enjoyed his best spell at Manchester United under Louis Van Gaal rather than under the Dutchman's two successors. The versatile fullback made 39 appearances in all competitions in his debut season, with 28 of those coming in the Premier League. The Italian won the FA Cup under Louis Van Gaal and was voted Manchester United's player of the month.

After Van Gaal's departure in 2016, Jose Mourinho took charge at Manchester United and opted to bring Antonio Valencia back to the right-back spot. Darmian had to move to the left-back position where he would compete with Ashley Young and Luke Shaw for game time. He made 29 appearances in all competitions in Mourinho's first campaign.

Darmian finally left Manchester United in 2019 after managing just 14 league games in his final two seasons at the club. He returned to Italy, where he joined Parma before joining Antonio Conte's Inter Milan. He has linked up with former Manchester United players Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Ashley Young at the club.

Published 30 Apr 2021
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