After impressing when handed multiple first team opportunities, Guillermo Varela says he wants a long and successful career at Manchester United.
The Uruguayan international signed for United in the forgettable David Moyes era, in 2013. He left on loan in the 2014/15 season to Real Madrid Castilla and has now been given, and has taken, a first team chance.
Brought in as a full-back with Louis van Gaal suffering from a severe injury crisis in that area, Varela has played four times for United this season.
In most games, particularly against Derby County in the FA Cup, the youngster has been superb and has rightly earned many plaudits, alongside Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.
He’s continued to play in the under-21 side and picked up a knock in their 7-0 thumping of Norwich City on Monday night, but manager Warren Joyce doesn’t believe it is too serious.
Varela says he is “very pleased to be getting this opportunity” from van Gaal, who gave the most academy debuts in the Premier League last season, along with Ronald Koeman at Southampton.
The right-back says he has “adapted 100 per cent to the England game” and is now “used to the pace and physicality just now”. After two and a half years at the club, Varela says he has “really developed” and “learned about the physical aspect of my game.”
“In comparison to Uruguay [Varela’s home country] or other parts of the world,” Varela says that “the football here [in England] is very physical.”
Varela has played for United in both the league and UEFA Champions League, something only an elite group of players, predominantly, can say they have down.
“It gave me a kind of inner calm to say that I could compete at the level of the Champions League,” Varela told United’s official website, having appeared against Vfl Wolfsburg in the game which saw United knocked out at the group stages.
The 22-year-old says “you start to feel that you are capable of turning out in the starting XI” after spending time and playing with the first team squad.”
He admits that he must “keep working hard” and must steer clear of “believing that I’ve arrived [for good], because that’s clearly not the case.”
The manager has been giving me the chance to show what I can do, so I’m very pleased to be getting this opportunity.
“I love being at Manchester United,” Varela said, “and I’d love to enjoy a long career here and win everything that comes in our path.”
His ambition for great success continued with his nation, Uruguay, who he referred to frequently. “Looking ahead” Varela wants to be playing for “the national team of course!”