Diogo Dalot has had no issues translating his fine Manchester United form over to the international stage so far this month. He scored twice for Portugal in their 4-0 win against the Czech Republic on Saturday, helping to keep the Iberian side’s hopes of qualifying for the Nations League finals alive.
Beyond his goals in that game, he won 100 per cent of his tackles, completed 100 per cent of his attempted dribbles and maintained a pass success state of 94 per cent. They’re impressive numbers, and such displays from the 23-year-old are becoming more and more common.
So far this season, no United player has completed more successful Premier League passes than Dalot (239). He also ranks second for the highest number of key passes (nine), passes into the penalty area (nine) and progressive passes (23) made.
Dalot did arrive at Old Trafford with plenty of promise back in 2018, and his manager at the time, Jose Mourinho, spoke very highly of his potential: “That kid, he is fantastic, fantastic. He is the best full-back in Europe in his age group, and we believe he has a bright future ahead of him at Manchester United.”
Just one year later though, the club parted with £50million to sign Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Dalot consequently found himself playing back-up to the former Crystal Palace defender and went on to make just four Premier League appearances that season. A loan move to AC Milan followed in the campaign after.
His form with AC Milan was imposing and really laid down the foundations for a resurrection at United. After returning, he overtook Wan-Bissaka in the pecking order and was eventually favoured by both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan all tried to sign the defender in the last winter window, however, all advances were rejected. Dalot’s importance has only increased since then and the above numbers highlight how he’s thriving within Erik ten Hag’s system.
Now rightfully considered one of the key members of this United squad, there’s greater importance being placed on getting the 23-year-old tied down on a new deal at the club. He’s currently one of the squad’s lowest earners, picking up £25,000 per week according to Spotrac. Wan-Bissaka in contrast is earning £90,0000 per week.
A new deal between his representatives and the club is yet to have been agreed, which could be a concern given his current contract is due to expire in the summer.
The good news for United though is that they do have to option to extend the current deal by another 12 months, meaning if needed, they can give themselves an extra year in which to negotiate and tie down one of the squad’s brightest young players.