Diogo Dalot stars for Milan, United loan already looks like a masterstroke


Remember in early July when Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams got injured and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chose to accompany Timothy Fosu-Mensah at left-back?

Well, it was a decision that left Diogo Dalot out in the cold and signified a lack of confidence from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Dalot has only made one Premier League start in 2019/20 and has moved down the pecking order.

He made a loan transfer to AC Milan on the transfer deadline day and last night he put in a Europa League man of the match performance against Sparta Prague.

Dalot was selected at the left-back instead of Theo Hernandez.

Speaking ahead of the game, Dalot told TMW: “Playing right or left doesn’t change. I play where the coach asks me to play.

(Photo by Emilio Andreoli / Getty Images)

Dalot delivered

Dalot did exactly what he was asked to do, and more, providing an assist and a goal in an almost perfect display as Milan won 3-0 at San Siro.

He completed 89 percent of his passes, scored with his lone shot on goal, while also making two tackles and three interceptions.

If it was his attacking game that really shone, keeping a clean sheet was just as valuable.

Manager Stefano Pioli told TMW after the match: “He can play left and right, it’s an advantage for him and also for the team. Dalot is a strong young man.

United made a smart decision

Had Dalot stayed at United he would have been sitting on the bench despite his versatility to play on both sides.

Maybe next year it won’t. Dalot needs this season to boost his confidence, consistency and fitness.

His offensive quality has the potential to set him apart from Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The biggest problem in his two seasons at United so far is that he has started to get injured both times. Fortunately, he was able to hit the ground while running in Milan.

The Italian team are a fit team, unbeaten at the start of the season, and that promises to be a great experience for the Portuguese full-back.

AC Milan - AC Sparta Praha: Group H - UEFA Europa League
(Photo by Emilio Andreoli / Getty Images)

It would also have been easy for United to collect and charge a fee in a summer when sales were hard to come by.

Instead, United have cleverly allowed only a loan deal, with no buyout clause.

Dalot is still only 21, and this one performance last night showed that selling him would have been a big mistake.

United are in control of his future, with his current contract running until 2023 with an additional option until 2024.

This loan looks like a masterstroke, as at this rate United will find a stronger and better player next season and beyond.

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