English Premiership

Darmian bemused by lack of game-time

2016-11-17 15:15
Matteo Darmian (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester United right-back Matteo Darmian admits he is mystified at being overlooked by Jose Mourinho earlier in the season.

The 26-year-old was only handed his first outing of 2016/17 against Feyenoord as United opened their Europa League campaign with a 1-0 defeat at De Kuip.

His next start came more than a month later in a 4-1 win over Fenerbahce at Old Trafford, with Mourinho having preferred Antonio Valencia as his first choice on the right side of defence.

However, Darmian has been given a run in the first team of late as a result of injuries to Valencia and Luke Shaw, which saw the Italy international start the last three games for the Red Devils.

After featuring for the Azzurri on Tuesday in a friendly international at the San Siro, where they held Germany to a goalless draw, the AC Milan youth product claims he does not know the reason for his lack of game-time under Mourinho, but will continue to work hard in training.

"I don't know why, that's a difficult question to answer," Darmian told Rai Sport. "The coach has to make his decisions and we players have to accept them.

"I always worked hard and gave my best when called upon and I'll continue to do that. I certainly don't lack determination and that is fundamental, especially during a period where you don't play as much.

"From the first day I have put myself at the disposal of the team and tried to prove myself to the coach."

The Italian defender denied rumours that he is interested in a return to his homeland with Internazionale, as he looks ahead to a massive clash with Arsenal on Saturday.

"I don't know, it's early to talk about the transfer market," he added. "Tomorrow I return to Manchester and we have an important match against Arsenal, one everyone wants to play in."

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