If you ask a Manchester United fan what good came of the David Moyes era at Old Trafford, he/she will probably say not much. But there is one thing Moyes did that is pleasing plenty of supporters at the moment.
Guillermo Varela was signed by the former United manager after a two-week trial at the club. While the young Uruguayan didn’t have much of a chance during Moyes’ ten months in charge, he did well during a loan spell at Real Madrid Castilla last year, making 33 appearances for the side.
His reward was inclusion in the squad for this season's Champions League campaign and a first-team debut when he came on at half-time to replace Paddy McNair against West Ham United.
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Blessed with good pace and very comfortable on the ball, the Uruguayan has provided some much-needed cover at the troublesome right-back spot. He now looks very capable of making that position his own for the long-term.
Excluding the disappointing defeat to Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, Varela has impressed with his offensive contribution to a United side in dire need of pace and athleticism. He has linked up particularly well with the winger playing in front of him, whether it has been Juan Mata or Jesse Lingard but his best performances of the season have both come in the last week.
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On Thursday night against FC Midtyjlland, he even managed to notch himself an assist, smartly turning past the centre-back and then supplying the cross which Marcus Rashford put into the back of the net to put United back ahead on aggregate.
And on Sunday, he managed to negate the lively Alexis Sanchez despite picking up an early booking. While dealing with the Chilean is no easy task - just ask Matteo Darmian - Varela also added purpose to the United attack every time he got forward.
It was his cross that Gabriel put into Marcus Rashford path for United’s first goal. And it was his crucial header that kept the ball in play for the second.
Despite his recent impressive performances, Varela still needs to improve the defensive side of his game in order to be compared to some of the other great right-backs that have come through the United academy.
His defensive positioning and composure in particular still need work but he has plenty of time to learn and United's fans have a good reputation for being patient with the club's younger prospects.
So, while the 22-year–old is currently providing a temporary fix at the problematic right-back position, he could well be the permanent solution and might even be the best legacy David Moyes left from his unsuccessful tenure.
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