Manchester United could be set to hand Diogo Dalot his senior debut on Saturday against Watford.
Dalot, who signed in the summer from Porto, had a bumpy start to life at Old Trafford when he arrived with an injury.
United have played Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia at right back already this season, with the latter being the club captain, while Ander Herrera played at right centre half against Spurs at Old Trafford. And Dalot could put pressure on Valencia’s place at Vicarage Road after he tweeted ‘Have a good week everybody. Getting ready for Saturday.’
Jose Mourinho described Dalot as the best young full back in Europe after signing him earlier this year and also said he was ‘pleased but not surprised’ by the youngster’s outing for the Under 23 side recently.
When he signed from Porto, Dalot’s fee was rumoured to be considerably higher than his £17.5m release clause, as a number of top European clubs were said to be interested.
Dalot gave a strong, physical and pacy display as he turned out for the club’s second string recently, putting in a performance which suggested he is bound to be first choice when fit. He was rusty, considering his time out, but showed a fine level of composure on the ball. He also demonstrated a willingness to get forward and although the accuracy of his crossing wasn’t great, there is the hope that it will improve.
United have been desperate to boost their quality at full back and while it was rumoured that high profile signings would come in this summer, only Dalot came through the door; reservations were aired when Timothy Fosu-Mensah was allowed to leave for Fulham on loan. But Luke Shaw has played so well at left back that it could turn out to be a decent budget summer window for Mourinho.
That said, Dalot has played more than half of his senior games at left back. And, considering Shaw’s concussion problem picked up on international duty, there is the chance that Dalot’s debut may well come on the other side.