Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot has opened up on just how much he had to work to become a regular starter at the club.
This season, especially in Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s absence due to injury, Dalot has featured heavily.
This season, the Portuguese has made 11 appearances for United in the Premier League alone and has featured in 17 matches across all competitions.
He has one goal to his name – a stunning strike against Sheffield United that secured an important three points for United at Bramall Lane.
Dalot spoke to club media and revealed details of his journey, which culminated in his current status as a regular presence in Erik ten Hag’s starting XIs.
He said, “I remember I was in a phase of [being] with injuries, with struggling to get minutes and to play and now, looking back to that and seeing the position that I am today, that’s what makes me proud. It’s not the way that I might be playing or what people might say about me, it’s just myself, inside of me.”
“I look back and I see, okay, I didn’t give up. And I remember that I told you that I was going to fight for my position and I was going to fight for that. And, sometimes, it’s just the way football is. The easiest way sometimes is to go away to, I don’t like to say give up because football has different paths and different ways.”
“Sometimes, you’re just knocking on a door that’s not going to open. You have to go to another one. But I always felt that I could do something here. I could achieve something here, which I feel that I still can do even more. But that feeling at that moment to know that, okay, I have to.”
He added that his primary goal was to stay at Old Trafford and prove his mettle as a player worthy of wearing the United shirt even though there was an easier option of securing a move elsewhere where there would have probably been less expectations.
Dalot explained that he is happy and extremely delighted with the progress he has made and the effort that went into it.
The 24-year-old further divulged, “I mean I like to think that what this club brings you and you can see, not just me – other players – [have a] big mentality. When things are not going well and you just keep fighting, keep fighting, keep fighting.”
The right-back expressed optimism that it’s only a matter of time until he and his teammates start reaping the rewards of all their efforts and hard work behind the scenes.