Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Manchester United Looking To Replace Darmian With This La Liga Full-back: Right Move By Mourinho?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Manchester United are currently looking into a deal for Valencia left-back, Jose Gaya as Matteo Darmian is expected to make an exit in the summer transfer window. The latter has barely seen the pitch over the course of the season with just 847 minutes registered.

Jose Mourinho has gone as far as to completely ignore the 28-year-old’s case for selection despite not having a first choice left-back. Ashley Young has been implemented in the role as a makeshift option with Luke Shaw featuring sporadically. It is clear that Darmian’s future under the Portuguese tactician is doomed for failure and it would be the right move for both parties to end ties after this season.

Darmian will be entering the last year of his contract following the 2017/18 season and teams can capitalize on the situation by acquiring for a cheap deal. Gaya can fill in easily after the wage bill gets cleared on the Italian’s departure.

Jose Gaya is a product of the Valencia CF youth system where he started his playing career as a striker. It was after a goal tally of 60 goals in a single season that he made the decision to shift to the left-back position mostly attributing to his dominant left foot.

His attacking mentality has carried over to his newfound position and has helped him develop into one of the complete wide men in the La Liga. Valencia’s resurgence to title-contention status has been due to players like Gaya who brings a completely different dynamic to the game.

The 22-year-old made his senior team debut at the age of just 17, n a Copa del Rey game against UE Llagostera under coach Mauricio Pellegrino in October 2012.

As an 18-year-old, he signed a five-year contract with the Oranges in February 2013 and ended the year by becoming the youngest player in the club’s history to make his debut in European competition. Gaya made his La Liga bow in April 2014, starting in a 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid.

Gaya’s predecessors are Barcelona’s Jordi Alba and Bayern Munich’s Juan Bernat, who have proven themselves on the world stage by winning major honours after their departure. Standing at just 5 feet 8 inches tall, Gaya packs a similar punch as the former duo in terms of pace, technical and distribution ability.

He is an optimal defender whose talents will be well measured in the Premier League. Whether he is the right fit for Manchester United is entirely a different question. Mourinho does implement the 3-back formation sometimes which would require Gaya’s services on a regular basis.

It would be in United’s best interest to pursue the Spanish U21 international with all their might.

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