The writing has been on the wall for Manchester United fullback Diogo Dalot after seldom playing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season, even at a time whereby the manager suffered a fullback injury crisis. In the summer of 2018, Dalot, then 19, arrived at the Theatre of Dreams from FC Porto for £19 million. In two years, a lot has changed at United with Jose Mourinho, the manager who signed Dalot, being sacked and Solskjaer replacing him. It would seem the player does not fit into the clubs plans.
Whilst it may seem to be a shame for the now 21-year-old, it is not the end of the world for him. Last month, the player was linked to Barcelona, which is something that may not be the case now that Ronald Koeman has now been announced as the new manager of the club. The Portuguese fullback was also linked to Everton and is now being linked to Paris Saint-Germain, one of the finalists of the UEFA Champions League this season. It is clear that other managers see the player as something they may want.
In Portugal, O Jogo, as reported by SportWitness, suggest that the fullback is one of the players that United would be looking to get rid of this summer. Despite being used sparingly at the time he took over from Mourinho, Solskjaer brought Aaron Wan-Bissaka to the club, who has been the first-choice right back at the club this season. Ever since Ashley Young was sold to Inter Milan in January, Brandon Williams and Tim Fosu-Mensah have both been used as rotation options in the right-back position.
Williams has also come through from the academy to give depth in the left-back position, which is where he has predominantly played whilst Luke Shaw was on the sidelines through injury, which is currently the case with the former Southampton player. O Jogo also state that Carlo Ancelotti’s interest in the player is for a right-back that can play as a third central defender when needed, which may or may not fit in for the player. However, PSG’s interest seems to be minimal with the club only having ‘thought of him’.
That said, there might be other interest from French clubs this summer. I will remain to be seen whether the player is interested in remaining in England, signing for Everton, if the club comes forth with an offer for him, or whether he will be looking to move back to the continent. The interest from Barcelona might well materialise again, providing the club get rid of some of they players they are looking to sell this summer, in order to fund a rebuild. I cannot help but thinking that Koeman might not have a lot of time to make big changes at the Catalan club.
During the 2019/20 season, Dalot made only 11 appearances for United, playing 577 minutes of football and scoring one goal for the club. Since signing for United, the 21-year-old has made a total of 34 appearances for the club, scoring one goal and assisting three more. The fullback can play at both right and left-back, also playing on the right of midfield, which sees the player in a more attacking role. However, that did not work out for him very well at United, so may not be the perfect position for the player. Whilst it might be the end of the road for Dalot’s United career, his career in football is only just starting.
Written by John Walker