Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot can build a key partnership on the pitch
Bruno Fernandes is a popular figure at Manchester United and seems to have a blossoming bromance with Diogo Dalot.
The Portuguese players have been spending a lot of time together and were recently seen enjoying a kickabout in the garden.
After becoming close friends off the pitch, they can also build an impressive partnership on the pitch when the football finally returns.
Bruno Fernandes‘ impact
Fernandes has been a revelation at United since signing from Sporting Lisbon for £47million in January.
The midfielder has lifted the mood around Old Trafford by registering three goals and four assists in his first nine appearances.
He has been used in a variety of positions so far, but he was often deployed on the right-hand side of a midfield three in Portugal.
The 25-year-old is most effective as a box-to-box midfielder where he can pick the ball up from deep and link defence and attack.
Fernandes naturally gravitates to the right side of the pitch anyway and Pogba, who prefers playing on the left side, could be accommodated there when he returns to the side.
While Fernandes has had a great start to his United career, his compatriot hasn’t been able to make a similar impact.
Jose Mourinho suggested that the highly rated right-back could be the next Gary Neville after signing him from Porto in 2018 for £19 million.
Dalot has shown glimpses of his talent but his first season in England was hampered by injury problems, and he made just 16 league appearances.
His United career then looked to be in jeopardy when the club spent £45million on fellow right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka in 2019.
Unsurprisingly, the Englishman has established himself as a regular in the United team with some excellent performances this season.
Dalot can be caught out defensively but Wan-Bissaka excels at one-on-one defending, and he has already nullified some of the best wingers in the league.
Therefore, Dalot’s path into the starting line-up has been blocked, but he can get more first team opportunities in a different position.
United’s right wing
United’s right flank has been a problematic position ever since Antonio Valencia was moved into defence by Louis van Gaal.
They don’t have a single out-and-out right-winger at the club, although Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Daniel James and Mason Greenwood have all been used there this season.
Jadon Sancho is reportedly United’s ideal solution, but they will need another short-term option until the summer transfer window opens.
Unlike Wan-Bissaka, Dalot is an attack-minded full-back who provides natural width and has excellent crossing ability.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fielded Dalot as a right winger on a few occasions last season, and he performed admirably out on the flank.
His skillset means that he could function as a more traditional winger, hugging the touchline while also providing defensive discipline.
Therefore, the 21-year-old should be able to seamlessly adapt to the new role on a permanent basis.
It would also allow him to combine with Fernandes and their friendship away from the club could help put them on the same wavelength.
United’s right hand side has been neglected for years but having Wan-Bissaka, Fernandes and Dalot operating on that side will finally provide them with some balance.
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