Diogo Dalot will return to Old Trafford this week, for one night only.
The loaned out full-back will be part of the AC Milan squad travelling to Manchester for the first leg of the Europa League tie against United.
Dalot’s future is currently undetermined. It would be an exaggeration to say he has been a success in Milan, but it hasn’t been all bad either.
Dalot has started seven of Milan’s eight Europa League games to get to this stage, although his record in Serie A has not been as great. He has started only six league games.
Add in a couple of cup games, and Dalot has started 15 games in total for Milan.
This isn’t very much, but it is progress for him, considering he started only one Premier League match for United last season, in part due to injury.
At Milan he has shed his poor injury record and stayed fit all season. That’s something to be positive about.
He scored his second Milan goal at the weekend and first in Serie A as his side beat Verona 2-0.
Possibility of an extended loan
United shouldn’t be in a rush with Dalot. He is only 21-years-old, and players develop at different rates. His injuries at United have delayed his progress, and his confidence will have been impacted by Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s arrival.
Dalot is under contract until 2023 with an extra option to extend to 2024.
Luke Shaw’s recent rise to become one of the best full-backs in England at the age of 25 shows how players can take different amounts of time to develop and reach their potential. Shaw, like Dalot, had injury issues early into his United career.
The former Porto defender missed the start of his debut season, and the 2019/20 campaigns due to injuries.
So it is with some interest that Milan News 24 report United are considering proposing to AC Milan that Dalot’s loan could be extended by a further year. This would allow him to develop further as a player and United could take a more informed decision on him, and potentially bring him back as a stronger player.
There is also suggestion of an obligation to buy being included in with this, but its just a possibility at this early stage.
Dalot hasn’t done enough right now to convince Milan to want to pay up for him.
United would probably struggle to recover the £19 million the club paid to sign him in 2019.
If United desperately need money, then we might want to cash in, to raise funds for other players. Likewise if Dalot expressly pushes for an exit and says he wants out.
But otherwise United should take their time, and not rush into a decision over Dalot’s future. No matter what happens this week against Milan.
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