Potential incomings may get United fans more excited this summer, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s continued attempts to trim the deadwood around the squad are equally important.
Diogo Dalot has been linked with an exit from Old Trafford by O Jogo, a publication from his native Portugal.
Everton and Paris Saint-Germain are named in the report as potential destinations.
Should United ditch Dalot?
The writing looked to be on the wall for Dalot when Timothy Fosu-Mensah was selected ahead of him completely out of the blue at left back against Crystal Palace last month.
Dalot could still offer something to United; he’s versatile, dynamic and has plenty of room to improve.
The main drawback is United fans simply haven’t seen enough of him in the last two seasons because of injuries.
If he stayed fit, he could provide a more attacking alternative to Aaron Wan-Bissaka, competing with the young Englishman as he looks to make good on the potential which convinced Jose Mourinho to spend £19 million (BBC) on him in 2018.
Opportunity knocks for Laird?
Fosu-Mensah’s unlikely renaissance may encourage the Dutchman that he can step up and be United’s second choice right back next season.
It shouldn’t though, because 19-year-old defender Ethan Laird got his first taste of first team football last season and ended 2019/20 training with the squad during their Europa League run.
Laird should take inspiration from the way Brandon Williams burst into the first team at full back last season, making an impression by offering a more dynamic alternative to Luke Shaw.
Laird has represented England at youth level, and if he can stay fit and keep progressing, has a higher potential ceiling than Fosu-Mensah, whose career has stalled somewhat after some unimpressive London loan spells.
It’s by no means clear cut that letting Dalot leave would be the right course of action, but if Solskjaer does, Laird should grab the potential opportunity with both hands in 2020/21.
If Dalot stays, then Laird is a candidate for loan. If he goes, then this could be his big opportunity.
2020/21 loan exits so far
Manchester United loan exits 20/21
- Tahith Chong
Werder Bremen (season)
- Aliou Traore
SM Caen (season)
- Joel Pereira
Huddersfield Town (season)
- James Garner
- Andreas Pereira
- Max Taylor
Kidderminster (until January)
- Diogo Dalot
AC Milan (season)
- Di’Shon Bernard
Salford City (until January)
- Jake Carney
Brighouse Town (season)
- Ethan Laird
(Jan to end of season)
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