Diogo Dalot is one of the players in contention to start for Manchester United at left-back on Thursday night if Brandon Williams or Luke Shaw fail late fitness tests.

While Dalot is more of a right-back, playing on the left is not new to him. In fact he has done it before for Manchester United.

In terms of how it went, it is fair to say Dalot’s two games at the position were mixed.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

The good game

The first of Dalot’s games at left-back for United came in the 2-1 win over Brighton at Old Trafford in January 2019.

This was amid Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s winning run as caretaker boss.

Dalot was a late call up to the side at left-back after Luke Shaw fell ill shortly before the game.

The Portuguese youngster starred and had one of his best games for United, providing an assist for Marcus Rashford’s winning goal.

Dalot told the club website after the game he was happy to play at left-back.

He said: “I feel comfortable in every position, as long as I can play. Players at Manchester United need to know what to do in every position and I was very comfortable and it was good for me, yes.”

The bad game

Unfortunately Dalot has a bad experience playing left-back too. This wasn’t so much bad, more ugly.

 

Dalot played all 90 minutes of arguably Solskjaer’s lowest point as manager, the 4-0 away defeat at Goodison Park in April 2019.

Now Dalot was just one of 11 players that day who were simply not good enough. He was part of a four-man defence which had Victor Lindelof at right-back, and Chris Smalling and Phil Jones at centre-back. No wonder the game panned out badly.

Still, this is a game Dalot would rather not have on his CV. He attempted five crosses, with not a single one finding a teammate.

Dalot found himself dropped for the next three league games and he only started again on the final day against Cardiff, in his preferred right-back slot, another game which ended in defeat.

(Photo by Alan Martin/Action Plus via Getty Images)

A fresh chance

It is 15 months since Dalot’s last game at left-back against Everton and he has had enough time to put this behind him.

His experience against Brighton gives some hope that this won’t be repeated, along with the fact United as a whole have moved forward since then.

There is no guarantee Dalot will play on Thursday. He may not be needed, or if he does play, he could start at right-back with Aaron Wan-Bissaka making the switch.

If he is selected, he will be looking to impress. So many times this season when Dalot has come in, he has done little to stake a claim for himself. It’s about time he showed what he was capable of.

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