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.