Rangnick talks up Dalot after midweek MOTM display

Ralf Rangnick was asked about Diogo Dalot at his press conference ahead of Manchester United’s clash with West Ham.

Dalot won the BT Sport man of the match award in United’s 3-1 win at Brentford on Wednesday night and was diligent defensively at the back post.

Rangnick’s briefing was streamed at 1.30pm on United’s official app and Rangnick talked up Dalot’s abilities, especially going forward.

With Aaron Wan-Bissaka still ill, Dalot will play against the Hammers, and could come up against Said Benrahma after Algeria’s early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

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“Offensively, he has a lot of assets,” said Rangnick of Dalot.

“He did well (against Brentford). He is somebody who can deliver crosses from the wing, he is also able to take on players in one on one situations.

“The areas where he can still improve is obviously in his defensive work. He is not much of a defensive full-back, but more offensive. This is normal, there are quite a lot of full-backs in other clubs where it is the same.

“Quite a few of those formerly played as wingers, and so far with the developments since I’ve been here with Diogo and Alex Telles, I am happy. They get more gametime right now, so I am happy to have those two players available.

“Offensively, both of them have their strengths and their assets but defensively, there is still some space for improvement.”

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Dalot is certainly a more adventurous attacking full-back than Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who is good in individual defensive duels but has struggled to improve going forward.

The Portuguese was robust in the challenge at Brentford and defended the crosses well, but it is clear Rangnick wants more from him and Telles.

If they can prove themselves to the German as solid defensive options, their attacking impetus going forward could see them nail down a spot in the side longer term.

Wan-Bissaka and Shaw were guaranteed starters under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but injuries to the Englishmen and the change of manager has handed Dalot and Telles an opportunity, which they are taking right now.

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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.