Manchester United made it three wins from three in the International Champions Cup by beating European champions Barcelona 3-1 in California on Saturday.
Wayne Rooney, Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj scored the decisive goals for Louis van Gaal's side to put them top of the table in the friendly competition.
The Red Devils have been unconvincing on the right side of defence ever since Gary Neville called time on his career in 2011 - as Neville comically highlighted last week - but Matteo Darmian is showing all the signs of being the solution to the club's problems in that department. Against the Manchester outfit's Catalan opponents, the Italian international was a stand-out performer.
While it is still only early days, the 24-year-old looks the real deal in a United shirt. He defended well against Luis Suarez, who aside from a few half chances, was afforded little room to manoeuvre in the first-half. He also gave Jordi Alba plenty of problems going the other way as he capitalised on the fantastic understanding he is developing with Juan Mata down the right-flank.
Louis van Gaal had previously suggested, as per the Daily Mail, that Antonio Valencia - naturally a winger - would remain the club's first-choice right-back, but Darmian's display versus Barcelona will have given the Dutchman food for thought. The former Torino defender showed again against Suarez and co. that he will be upgrade on the Ecuadorean.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Matteo Darmian's impressive display.
@footballmcd Darmian is class, the best transfer so far this season, congrats. :-)— Omid Zamani (@OmldZamani) July 25, 2015
Darmian and Shaw playing well. Nice to see our RB actually able to defend!— Chris Beasley (@chris1985MUFC) July 25, 2015
Darmian— Zay (@Vangaal10United) July 25, 2015
Darmian is SOLID!!— MataSonic (@MataSonic) July 25, 2015
Damian is slowly gaining confidence, has been good on the ball and cut some obvious mistakes like constant poor passing.— Mata's left foot. (@Reginaldmakori8) July 25, 2015
Darmian needs to stop playing so good or else he'll ruin LVGs PHILPOSOPY to play Tony V at RB.— Zaid (@Zaid_14j) July 25, 2015
Darmian is a surprise, the kid is rapid, get him in the gym and 12 months prem exp under his belt, could be a great buy— THE BOSS (@AltoftDau) July 25, 2015
Manchester United friendlies are leaving an especially good impression for a few players. Darmian and Shaw are delivering, really important.— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) July 25, 2015
Darmian has been phenomenal this game. His pace gets him out of any trouble. Not the strongest, but a real grafter, works incredibly hard.— Hashbrown (@hesham786) July 25, 2015
Just love Darmian. He's got the lot. Speed, positional sense, strength, distribution. Expect Valencia to play against Spurs.... #MUFC— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) July 25, 2015
Man of the half was Darmian for me.Linking up with Mata in attack and defending well too.Hopefully he hasn't done any harm to himself.#vk— All For United (@allforunited) July 25, 2015
Some fantastic football by United so far... Also... Darmian
Van Gaal was definitely taking the piss when he said Darmian would be second choice to Valencia. He does everything better than Valencia.— JC (@JustCantona) July 25, 2015
Darmian, fitted in straight away, looked as though he's played for us for year, brilliant at both attacking and defending.— All For United (@allforunited) July 25, 2015