Manchester United announced the signing of versatile full back Diogo Dalot for a fee of around 20 million pounds on a five year deal. The full back’s signing comes just 2 days after Brazilian midfielder Fred signed for the club. The 19 year old underwent a medical yesterday and his arrival was confirmed soon after.
Diogo Dalot rose through the ranks this season and had made his first team debut in February, coming off the bench in a 5-0 win over Rio Ave. He also featured prominently in the second leg of the Champions League which ended goalless after Liverpool had won the first leg 5-0.
With out of favour Italian Matteo Darmian expected to leave Old Trafford and manager Jose Mourinho desperate to provide veteran right back Antonio Valencia with more competition, United have turned to the Portugal U-21 International who seems to be quite a talent already. Dalot made seven appearances in all competitions for Porto in 2017-18 as Porto won the Premiera Liga crown for the first time since 2012-13 and reached the Champions League’s last 16.
What can potentially make him an invaluable asset for the Red Devil’s in the long run is the fact that he is equally capable of playing as a full back on both the flanks. With Valencia and Young both turning 33 by the start of next season,Diogo Dalot’s arrival could mean the phasing out of the two as both of their contracts expire in June 2019 and could mean the start of Mourinho’s defensive regeneration.
After having presided over the official announcement Jose Mourinho was quoted saying with regards to his new signing :
“In his age group, he is the best young full back in Europe.
He is an extremely talented young defender with all the qualities to quickly become a great player for this club.
He has all the attributes that a full back needs: physicality, tactical intelligence and technical quality, combined with a Porto academy mentality which prepares players for the maturity they need at the professional level.”
When asked to comment on his new club, Dalot was quoted by the official website as saying :
“The chance of coming to the biggest club in the world is something I just couldn’t turn down.”
Diogo Dalot is one of the best upcoming talents in European football and his versatility makes him a big bonus for the team. He is a very well behaved person and responds to tactics and instructions well. He’s the kind of payer that Mourinho cherishes and can turn him into the best full back in the world in a few years down the line.
With age in his side Diogo Dalot can provide United with a very good and reliable backup option at full back for now and eventually a world class starting option to replace the ageing legs of Valencia and Young.
Thank you so much for the incredible welcome! I come with all the will, ambition and commitment to help this great team! 🙌 #MUFC— Diogo Dalot (@DalotDiogo) June 6, 2018
Diogo Dalot’s primary position is that of right back but he has also been able to deputise at left back as was seen against Liverpool slotting on the left side of the defence in the Champions League. Like all modern full backs, he loves to bomb forward and has that natural ability to go past players. Most importantly, he is adept at putting crosses into the box, something United didn’t see much of in the concluded season.
The young defender could really benefit from playing under Mourinho who is known for building structurally sound teams, with a well disciplined and organized back line.
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The only real hiccup that could arise from this transfer is the fact that United already have a highly rated young right back in the form of Timothy-Fosu-Mensah who is set to return from his loan spell at Crystal Palace. Though he can also play as centre back and defensive midfielder, he played all his games at right back for Palace. Time will only show whether both of them benefit from the transfer or one outshines the other.
For now United seem have signed an absolute star in the making in Diogo Dalot and as Jose said the absolute best in his age group. An amazing player who with the right people mentoring him can grow right here at Old Trafford to become the best in the World.