The curious case of Guillermo Varela

Originally published for Backpage Football on 15/02/2014

Much was made of Manchester United’s summer transfer window debacle, and although it was the £28million deadline day capture of Marouane Fellaini that made the headlines, the club’s first signing of the David Moyes era was that of Guillermo Varela, a largely unknown Uruguayan right-back.

After impressing the club on a two-week trial, Varela was snapped up on a permanent deal in June from Club Atlético Peñarol, for a reported fee of just under £3million. With the dream of following in the footsteps of- and eventually displacing- fellow South American full-back Rafael da Silva, the 20-year-old arrived at Old Trafford and was handed the number 30 shirt. By securing a first team squad number, many expected him to feature on the fringes of Moyes’ side during this campaign.

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Nani- Manchester United’s scapegoat?

Originally published for Backpage Football on 28/10/2013

As the referee’s whistle called time on Manchester United’s narrow victory against Stoke City, it wasn’t so much of a cheer that reverberated around Old Trafford but a monumental sigh of relief.

With three points in the bag, a Fergie-esque late comeback and the pressure on David Moyes – at least for now- lifted, it was all smiles for the Reds as they headed away from The Theatre of Dreams with a home league win for only the second time this season.

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