Matteo Darmian started in a highly unorthodox left wing-back role for Italy against Belgium in his first Euro 2016 game and had a bit of a mixed bag in terms of his performance.
The role wasn’t strange because it was on the right but Antonio Conte had the full-backs so far up the pitch they were effectively playing as wingers. For Darmian, a defender by nature, he was out of his comfort zone.
Darmian was taken off at half-time by Conte but I thought he did OK in the first half. Nothing special but some of his balls into the edge of the box were decent and his positional sense didn’t seem bad. However, not all United fans agreed with me on that.
@PeoplesPerson_ to be honest, probably the worst Italian player tonight
— Emil Manninen (@EmilManninen) June 13, 2016
— varidmaulid (@varidmaulid) June 13, 2016
— Paul Edwards (@pauledwardsmufc) June 13, 2016
@PeoplesPerson_ They won.
— Collins Chinyanta (@collins07) June 13, 2016
@PeoplesPerson_ average at best. That's as bias as I can be.
— Ibrahim Tobun (@tobunlo) June 13, 2016
Next up for Italy is a game against where they know that a win sees them qualified for the knockout stages of Euro 2016 but as was the case versus Belgium, defending will be their primary objective which plays into Darmian’s hands.
I think he’s got more plenty more to offer than his performance against Belgium but Italy won which was the main thing and I’d be surprised if Conte dropped him from the starting XI after how he played.