Manchester United Football Club have themselves a major injury crisis at left-back. Enter, Diogo Dalot.
After signing for the 20-time Premier League champions in 2018, Dalot feels like another one of those Jose Mourinho additions that have largely failed to make an impact.
Sure, it’s not all his fault. Dalot has been supremely-unlucky in regards to injuries, meaning his time at Old Trafford has largely been stop-start.
The young Portuguese has played 34 times for United and to be fair, he’s always looked pretty sharp. The problem? He hasn’t nailed down one position, rather, he’s moved around the pitch, playing in a few different spots.
By trade, you look at Dalot as a right-sided full-back. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has often utilised the former FC Porto man further forward. However, the 21-year-old United starlet could well be in line for a rare start tomorrow night against Crystal Palace, as a left-back…
How has this chance come around?
Well, injuries to both Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams leave the Baby Faced Assassin with a major problem. There’s no other recognisable left-back in the squad except Dalot – who played out there for his former employers Porto a few times.
In terms of youth, Ethan Laird has a history over on the left, despite being naturally right-sided like the aforementioned Williams. However, I’d be surprised if United throw him straight into the fire in a position that isn’t completely ordinary.
Simply put, if neither Shaw nor Williams are fit enough to start which is looking likely, Dalot is the only viable option.
The talent is there
As alluded to above, Dalot has shown potential. He’s a confident young man whom I don’t doubt will go an awfully long way in this game. This could well be the opening he needs to prove his worth.
I guess all he needs is a chance. Given a real run in the side, allowing the chance to nail down one position, will give Solskjaer everything he needs to make a final decision on whether Dalot does stay or go.
After all, you don’t spend £20million on a full-back for no reason. Some Manchester United fans actually prefer Dalot over Aaron Wan-Bissaka. I don’t, but more on that shortly…
Dalot isn’t naturally left-footed, though he’s got enough about him to play out there, ala Williams. Dealing with Wilfred Zaha won’t be easy but I believe he’d be up to the task. It could well be the making of the man.
Last chance saloon?
The Portugal U21 international has definitely been unfortunate. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s arrival all-but closed the door on Dalot being named as the first-choice right-back over the summer.
When you factor in the emergence of Ethan Laird who’ll be knocking on the first-team door soon, and Williams’ continued growth, the future looks bleak for Dalot. He’s running out of time to convince Solskjaer to keep him around.
It’s never a good sign when you’re utilised in different positions from game-to-game as it only further highlights the individual struggle. With United needing funds to spend other areas, Dalot could well be a casualty.
Simply put, this is it. All his hard work as a teenager. All the effort that goes into training day-in-day-out, it all comes down to this. 90 minutes against Crystal Palace. Does Diogo Dalot have what it takes?
I guess we’re about to find out…
Should Diogo Dalot start? Is he good enough to play for the Red Devils week-in-week-out? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.