By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Guillermo Varela is performing like a seasoned Manchester United star, according to team-mates Juan Mata and Marcos Rojo.
The senior duo have been impressed by the 22-year-old, who has been one of a number of youngsters at the club to grab their chance after being fast-tracked into the first team.
The right back joined United in the summer of 2013 but his days at Old Trafford seemed numbered after he was sent on loan to Real Madrid’s reserve side last season and came close to moving to Genoa in the January window.
But Uruguayan Varela has taken his chance amid a United injury crisis and his senior colleagues have been impressed.
“I’m very pleased and I’m very happy for him because he is doing very good on the right side,” Mata told MUTV. “He’s going forward, he’s defending very well, he’s being aggressive and he’s performing like he has been playing for 10 years before.
“That is very difficult when you are young and in a stadium such as Old Trafford. He’s a very competitive guy, he’s very good for the team and the dressing room so we are very happy for him.”
Defender Rojo also heaped praise on Varela and revealed he has become firm friends with his fellow South American.
“I am very happy for him as he has been playing well,” Rojo explained. “It’s not too long since we met and we’ve become mates. He’s also my chauffeur. He takes me to all the matches as we live close by, so he’s been doing all the driving which is fine by me.
“In the last few months we have spent a lot of time together and we have become really good mates. He’s a really good guy, a great person and a big player for United.”
Varela has made eight appearances this season, athough he dropped down to the substitute’s bench for Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at West Brom.
In other Manchester United news, Wayne Rooney hopes to be back playing again within a month.