Diogo Dalot says he is loving playing regularly alongside Ronaldo and Fernandes
Diogo Dalot is enjoying his football as Manchester United’s first choice right-back. He has overtaken Aaron Wan-Bissaka and was outstanding in the win over Brentford.
Dalot is thriving under new interim boss Ralf Rangnick, and is laying down a marker for United’s next permanent manager.
A particular enjoyment for Dalot is getting to feature regularly alongside compatriots Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes.
Dalot told The MEN: “They are probably two of the best Portuguese players we have now. To to be in the squad with two high-quality players, it’s a joy to me and I just need to keep learning from them, try to help them and I’m sure they will learn something from me as well. This is how it works.
“As a Portuguese player, it’s a very proud moment for me to play alongside them.”
The right-back made it into Portugal’s Euro 2020 squad as a late replacement, and has continued to feature in their squad since.
He is going to be fighting for a World Cup spot in the play-offs in March and building up an on and off-pitch relationship with Ronaldo and Fernandes will certainly help him if he gets the call to play.
Dalot is probably enjoying his best moment at United since he signed. In his first season he battled injuries and Ashley Young, before Aaron Wan-Bissaka was signed a year later and given priority.
Last season was spent out on loan at AC Milan, and if the Italian side had presented United with a serious bid to sign him permanently at the end of last season, they probably would have got him.
Instead Dalot returned to United determined to make an impact, and after being incredibly patient under Solskjaer, he is getting his reward under Rangnick.
More challenges lie ahead
Dalot won’t get over confident, he wants to enjoy the moment. It’s unwise to look too far into the future, especially with the manager situation unclear.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be back to try and prove a point. He won’t enjoy being written off, and Rangnick will have to rotate his side at some stage. Dalot just has to try and continue to be better and more well rounded.
During this run of games he has impressed with his determination and positive attitude, as well as his defensive ability.
United fans would still like to see a little more from Dalot going forward, many of his crosses don’t connect, but he is certainly less afraid than Aaron Wan-Bissaka to take a chance.
He has answered the major question posed of him over his defensive work, and his aerial ability has been a strength.
But at United, you are only one game away from a crisis. All his good work can be undone with one poor performance, and Dalot has to keep at the top of his game.
His desire to continue linking him up with Ronaldo and Fernandes gives him extra motivation to play well enough to keep his place.
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