Barcelona are reportedly interested in signing Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot this summer. The 21-year-old has fallen out of favour under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after being purchased by Jose Mourinho during his reign of the club. It seems a shame but the player has not been in the best of form when he has been used this season. ESPN has reported the possibility of the Catalan club making a move for the player, which could be good for him.
Dalot signed for United in the summer of 2018 and has a contract which expires in the summer of 2023, so any transfer fee will be in United’s favour, however, if Barcelona are interested in the player, they will claim financial hardship and try to pay a pittance for the player. United will need to stick to their guns. The Catalan club will not be the only club interested if the player is going to be put up for sale this summer. The Portuguese defender, who can play at right-back, left-back and right midfield.
This season, Dalot has made just 11 appearances for United, playing in the Premier League, Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League, scoring just one goal which came against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup in a match which United won 6-0. During his time at the Theatre of Dreams, Dalot has made 34 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal and three assists. With Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s arrival last summer and the fact he’s the best right-back at the club, not to mention Brandon Williams’ progress – he can play in both fullback positions, Dalot has been left in the cold most of the time.
United signed Dalot at the age of 19 from FC Porto for £19 million, as reported by The Sun and at the time he was the best young European right-back, which is not something that has continued into first team football. At Porto, he made a handful of first team appearances before United purchased him, many of those from the left-back position. It is not his fault that it has not worked out for him and not Solskjaer’s either. When players arrive under one manager, they don’t always make it under another.
Now that Tim Fosu-Mensah has returned to the first team after a spell on the sidelines through injury for much of the season after two loan spells away from the club, which were not all that successful, it could well be that Solskjaer will fancy him as the stand in for Wan-Bissaka, although he also has Williams, who has largely played in the left-back position as a replacement for Luke Shaw, who is currently injured and missed the last few matches of the season. Dalot was not called upon then so it would seem to be the end of the road for him at the club.
Dalot is a player that could find his feet at a club willing to trust him to succeed. That is clearly not going to happen at United, which could well be a regret, however, United seem to be well stock in both fullback positions in the first team right now and have the likes of Ethan Laird, who can play in all four positions in the back four, and with him being a product of the clubs academy and having bagfuls of talent, Solskjaer might fancy his chances to break into the first team more than Dalot. He gave it a chance at United, it did not work and I think the player will remain humble.
Written by John Walker