Diogo Dalot: Analysing the situation for one of the best right backs from Portugal

Manchester United aren’t great sellers and everyone knows that for a fact. So, far in this window, Manchester United have sold only Alexis Sanchez where no fees were involved, getting rid of his wages was considered as a massive success.

While the fans want deadwood like Rojo, Smalling, Jones and Andreas to be sold. The most interesting case is Diogo Dalot where United seem confused regarding what to do. It’s a known fact that the manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t fancy the Portuguese international at any of his fullback position. So, what should United do?

Diogo Dalot moved from Porto for £19m deal, at the time, the United manager Jose Mourinho labelled his compatriot to be a long-term presence in the right-back spot who was brought in as a replacement for club captain Antonio Valencia. Injuries haven’t been kind to Dalot, and he has made just 34 appearances for United in his two years with the club.

Currently, one position which United has replacements and options in abundance is the fullback position. It has become such a case that players like Wan-Bissaka, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, and Ethan Laird have moved ahead of Dalot in the starting eleven.

Why doesn’t Ole select him?

Solskjaer wants his full-backs to be strong in the tackle and assertive on the ball, but feels Dalot has not shown either of those qualities in training or in the games he did feature in as per The Athletic. But Ole, feels that Dalot takes this snub as fuel to relaunch his career as he believes the player still has potential to be a top quality player.

Since United signed Wan-Bissaka from Palace, there has been a certain assuredness in the defence and owing to his consistent performances, Dalot just managed to garner 6 minutes in the league after he recovered from a groin injury.

Loan would be useful

United made a big decision to sign Dalot when he was signed for £19 million in 2018. Jose Mourinho praised him at the time, commenting: “In his age group, he is the best full-back in Europe. He is an extremely talented young defender with all the qualities to quickly become a great player for this club.”

The problem with Dalot is staying fit. He began both the seasons injured and he managed to rack up 17 appearances from a total of 76 of which he started 13.

Are United being harsh on him by thinking to sell?

Look at the case of Serge Gnabry at Bayern Munich, once rated by Pulis as “the most difficult” youngster to work with to now as one of the best attackers of the world. It is quite possible that big clubs sometimes misjudge talent or judge talent far too early. Gnabry is a classic example of young player being injury prone and then maturing to become one of the most potent attackers in world football. Hence, we believe United should buy some extra time to judge Diogo Dalot.

Hence, United should send him on loan for a year or two to rediscover his touch and get different aspects of his game to be developed. Same route could have been used for Memphis Depay and had that worked then United would have had a great attacker in their armoury.

 Dalot is at his best when you deploy a 3-5-2 and hence some analysts and pundits believe that he is more of a winger than a wingback or a fullback due to his attacking prowess. Hence, some fans even prefer him over Wan-Bissaka in the attacking outlet of the game. So, ideally, he should go out on loan, redeem himself and push for a spot in starting 11.

If he has a good season or two on loan, then he can find himself wanted by other big clubs and also United can command a higher price in the market if need be. Because right now, selling him is a bit of a haste decision as the current market is affected by COVID-19 and the clubs who are interested are only willing to pay a meagre £10m.  So, ideally United should send Dalot on loan, let him prove himself and sell him in a market which is not so diminished.

The decision which Manchester United will take with respect to Dalot will tell its own story of whether United need money or they choose to show patience and wait for a talented player to develop.

Author: TUD Author