20-year old Uruguayan Guillermo Varela has moved from Peñarol Montevideo to Manchester United, in a reported £2.4 million shock transfer to officially become new manager David Moyes’ first signing. The young right back spent a fortnight on trial training with United’s first-team at the end of the season, impressing enough to earn a five-year contract with the Red Devils.
Despite having only played one senior match for his former club Peñarol (one of the greatest football clubs not only in Uruguay but in Latin America), Varela has earned a place in the Uruguay’s squad which will embark on the World Under-20 World Championships, due to be played from 21sy June in Turkey. Varela could his new team-mates Ángelo Henríquez (Chile) and Sam Johnstone, Tom Thorpe and Larnell Cole (England) at some stage of this competition.
Guillermo Varela can be described as a no-nonsense defender who likes moving forward. Pace is of his most notorious attributes and he has been likened to former United argentine defender Gabriel Heinze. Varela should become a reliable back-up for Rafael Da Silva and may end up being a very shrewd move. As former manager Sir Alex Ferguson used to say, Varela is value for money.
The connection of Manchester United with Latin American football is growing considerably, as Varela is United’s 13th player originally from this region of the world, being his predecessors: Juan Sebastián Verón, Gabriel Heinze and Carlos Tévez (Argentina), Diego Forlán (Uruguay), Kleberson, Anderson, Rafael Da Silva, Fabio Sa Dilva and Rodrigo Possebon (Brazil), Antonio Valencia (Ecuador), Javier Hernández (Mexico) and Ángelo Henríquez (Chile).
Varela will find himself in a familiar environment as United currently have several Spanish-speaking players including the aforementioned Chicharito, Valencia and Henríquez and of course David De Gea. This fact will unquestionably help him to quickly settle into a new country, culture and league.