Can Diogo Dalot play against Manchester United in the Europa League?

Manchester United have been drawn against a couple of familiar faces in the Europa League.

All eyes will be on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to Old Trafford.

Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

But there is another link between the two clubs – Diogo Dalot.

United have loaned the Portuguese defender to the San Siro for the season.

So can Dalot feature for Milan in the fixture?

The answer is yes, and there’s a very simple reason why:

UEFA’s rules allow it

There are no rules that prevent a loan player from playing against his parent club in the Europa League (UCL).

As such, players are allowed to play against their parent club if the two clubs meet each other in any UEFA competition.

That means Dalot is free to play against United.

He can make his return to Old Trafford for the first leg on 11 March and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke about him to United’s website.

Diogo went there to get some experience at a big club and he’s learned a lot.

“He’s played a lot more games this season, kept fit and, hopefully, we can give him some bother!

Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Famous example

Loan players haven’t played against their parent club too often in UEFA competition.

Perhaps the most famous example came during the 2013-14 season.

Thibaut Courtois was on loan from Chelsea to Atletico Madrid and the two sides met in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The Belgian helped knock his parent club out – so hopefully Dalot do the same next month.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.