Manchester United left-back Tyrell Malacia had no doubts about his ability to force his way into Erik ten Hag‘s starting lineup at Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old was Ten Hag’s first acquisition of the summer window, joining from Feyenoord from a £13.5m fee at the start of July despite interest from Lyon.
Malacia was widely expected to head for Ligue 1 before Man United successfully hijacked the move, and his arrival allowed Alex Telles to join Sevilla on loan.
The Netherlands international has since ousted Luke Shaw from the left-back position to become a regular starter for Man United, making eight appearances in all competitions already this season.
Malacia has featured from the off in both of the Red Devils’ Europa League fixtures so far, while he has started all four of Man United’s Premier League wins after coming off the bench in defeats to Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Opening up on his decision to reject Lyon in favour of Man United, Malacia revealed that he has had no contact with the French club since and always believed that he could become a starter for the 20-time English champions.
“I have not spoken to Lyon since. The transfer went the way I wanted,” Malacia told The Mirror. “I am at United, that is all that matters.
“I always dreamed of the Premier League, so when Manchester came in with an offer, I knew I wanted to join. A lot of people thought I would end up on the bench because United had an England international in Luke Shaw and, at the time, a Brazilian international in Alex Telles.
“I also knew that people would judge me because I was the cheapest player this summer. But when you perform and do the business on the pitch, it shuts them all up.
“I knew deep down I could get into the team. I believed in my own ability because I know how to fight for my future. I have never had it easy in my life. I have had to overcome some big setbacks and deal with disappointments.”
Malacia was one of six summer signings during Ten Hag’s first window, with the club also bringing in Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen, Antony, Casemiro and Martin Dubravka.
Martinez and Malacia have formed an effective backline with Diogo Dalot and Raphael Varane in the past few weeks, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof all being relegated to the bench.
Man United have conceded just two goals in their four-game domestic winning streak to rise to sixth in the table, having been leapfrogged by Chelsea after their 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.
However, Ten Hag’s side would rise above Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion if they win their game in hand against bitter rivals Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon.