Manchester United legend turned pundit, Gary Neville, believes that Diogo Dalot is finally coming good in a red shirt.
The Portuguese arrived to Old Trafford in 2018 from Porto as an 18 year old and naturally struggled to hold down a spot in the first team. The player went out on loan to AC Milan and was always second best under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who preferred his expensive recruit, Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
However, the arrival of Erik ten Hag has breathed life into Dalot’s career and the Portuguese player has spoken about what a “good match” the two are for each other and that they “clicked” as soon as the Dutchman arrived due to their similar views on how football should be played.
Speaking on the Gary Neville podcast on Sky Sports, the eponymous pundit is also starting to come round to the idea that Dalot is finally living up to his potential.
“I want to talk a little bit about Dalot. He is someone that people say about the ‘right back for the future’ for Manchester United – they may have the right back for the future there”.
At only 24 years old, yet having represented the club 139 times, Dalot is the perfect blend of youth with experience.
The former Valencia boss delved into the qualities that he sees in the full back by stating, “there is a lot there; he’s six foot, he’s strong, he’s powerful, he’s good on the ball, he’s not a bad defender, I think he defends his back post really well, he opens up his shoulders”.
Discussing the matter of consistency he claimed, “I think if he can start playing in a really confident back four and a settled back four… it’s always changing and he’s never really got a constant presence outside of him on that right hand side – I had that for years, where I could build a relationship”.
However, despite persistent rumours, no deal has been done and Neville warned against replacing the Portugal international too hastily.
“Dalot, I think, is someone that you talk about ‘could he’ be the one that you think, you’ll give him that shot. He’s getting that shot at the moment but I wouldn’t be too quickly looking to change him, I think he’s something to work with.”
“Is he the best in the world? No, but has he got the potential to be a top full back? Yes.”.
Diogo Dalot is one of the few United players who can hold their head up high this season after wrestling back the starting right back spot from Aaron Wan-Bissaka with some consistent performances over the last few months in both defence and attack.
The former Porto youth player showcased his talent with a world-class lunging block to deny West Ham an equalizer at Old Trafford a couple of games ago and also highlighted his offensive threat with a wonderfully whipped in cross for Scott McTominay’s headed winner versus Aston Villa which left Roy Keane purring.
Dalot will be hoping for a strong end to the season where he can finally put the debate to bed on who United’s starting right back should be for now and in the long-term.