Diogo Dalot stakes claim for right-back spot after Wan-Bissaka red card
Diogo Dalot’s affiliation with Young Boys during his Manchester United career continues to blossom.
The full-back made his Red Devils debut against Young Boys in 2018 after being signed for £19m (BBC Sport) and last night the Portuguese international featured for 60 minutes against the Swiss champions.
There were calls for Dalot to be given the nod over Aaron Wan-Bissaka in United’s opening Champions League group game.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went with the club’s number 29 and with United leading thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal in two games since re-joining, the game completely changed when the former Crystal Palace full-back was given a straight red card in the 35th minute.
Wan-Bissaka had taken a clumsy heavy touch and lunged into a tackle, but instead of winning the ball, he went slightly over the top of it and caught Christopher Martins on his ankle.
Jadon Sancho was replaced by Dalot who filled in at right-back and in the second half following the introduction of Raphael Varane to make up a back three, Dalot was pushed into the right wing-back role.
Diogo Dalot impresses
The man who spent last season on loan at AC Milan came on at a time when United were inevitably going to come under increased pressure due to the hosts having a man advantage.
But the 22-year-old was solid defensively and was quick to get out to the winger and stop crosses being delivered into the box.
Dalot was assured and often forced the winger to pass backwards through his jockeying and he would then get back into shape.
But he also carried a threat and outlet for United to ease pressure on themselves, Dalot loves to gallop forwards and contribute to the attacking play, but he seemed to take just as much joy, attention and care to the defensive side of his game.
Despite only playing an hour, Dalot made more tackles (6) than any other player on the pitch (WhoScored). Also, only Varane (7) made more clearances in the game than the former Porto man (5).
Diogo Dalot will get chances in the coming weeks to stake his claim to oust Wan-Bissaka.
He will probably start at right-back in next week’s Carabao Cup clash and then he will no doubt replace the suspended Wan-Bissaka for the home clash against Villarreal.
There is no denying that Dalot is more comfortable than Wan-Bissaka in possession, but if he continues to show the defensive improvements he showed last night which complement his attacking qualities, the Portuguese international may fancy his chances of getting more game time.
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