Manchester United might be about to make a transfer mistake with Jose Mourinho signing

The Man Utd full-back has been on loan at AC Milan in the past season and could leave this summer. Rewind the clock to 12th May 2019 and the...

The Man Utd full-back has been on loan at AC Milan in the past season and could leave this summer.

Rewind the clock to 12th May 2019 and the final game of Manchester United's miserable 2018/19 campaign.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cut a fairly forlorn figure on the touchline as United suffered an ignominious defeat to his former club Cardiff City, whose fans taunted the Norwegian. Cardiff, determined to enjoy one final day out in the Premier League as their relegation was confirmed, secured a memorable 2-0 victory (for them) that Solskjaer wanted to quickly erase from his memory.

It was that defeat and a 4-0 shellacking by Everton at Goodison Park three weeks earlier that prompted Solskjaer to have a long hard think about the direction this United squad was heading. Gone were the days of his initial honeymoon period as caretaker boss, now the reality of the situation was clear and Solskjaer vowed that some players wouldn't make the cut amid a drastic rebuild.

Of the 11 players to start against Cardiff, only three are guaranteed their spots in Solskjaer's plans for the 2021/22 campaign, such has been the effort to overhaul the squad.

Mason Greenwood made his senior debut that day against the Bluebirds and was by far and away United's best player. Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay are the others.

Yet if you watch the Cardiff game back, you'll see that Diogo Dalot enjoyed a fairly productive game too. As an attacking right-wing with an undoubted ability to play pinpoint crosses, the Portuguese showed in that debut season at Old Trafford that he was worth persisting with.

Dalot finished that 18/19 campaign as one of a select few in the United squad who had some credit in the bank. He had only just turned 20 and he looked to be well worth the £19million transfer fee Jose Mourinho had paid to bring him to United from Porto.

Then, something went wrong.

At first it was injuries, delaying his involvement in the 2019/20 season, but the fact United signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka for £50million that summer was a hammer blow to Dalot.

The ambitious full-back spoke to MEN Sport in the autumn about battling back from injury — and battling Wan-Bissaka for his place — and sounded positively bullish.

Speaking in December 2019, Dalot said: "I feel that my position is the right back side and as long as I keep pushing hard in that position, I'll be able to play.

"I'll play in other positions if the manager wants, I'm always open for that. But I want to make a statement and I want to help the team in my best position. If I have to play in other parts of the pitch, I'll do it for sure."

The fact Dalot played a grand total of 66 Premier Leagues minutes in that same season for United (60 of them coming in one game, against Newcastle, when United were strapped for defensive options) says it all. He was reduced to Europa League and FA Cup appearances only.

And so it was a surprise to nobody when Dalot left on loan last summer, getting a decent move to AC Milan. It's also not a big shock that talk of a permanent stay in Milan is now rife, amid United's interest in Kieran Trippier as a competitor for Wan-Bissaka.

But with reports from Spain suggesting United will have to pay all of £35million (Trippier's release clause) to prise the England international away from Atletico Madrid, shouldn't they consider bringing Dalot back into the fold?

He ticks many of the boxes for United if they want a back-up to Wan-Bissaka; attacking prowess, crossing ability, versatility — many of the traits Trippier possesses.

Yet Solskjaer has seemingly made up his mind and is apparently ready to jettison a player who recently helped an exciting young Portugal Under-21s side to the brink of tournament success, losing in the U21 Euro final to Germany.

If Dalot makes a success of his career away from United — and that's hardly unlikely for a 22-year-old of his immense ability — the club may come to regret their actions over the past 18 months or so.

Performing a U-turn on Dalot could actually save United a few million pounds and a transfer saga.



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GistLobby⚽: Manchester United might be about to make a transfer mistake with Jose Mourinho signing
Manchester United might be about to make a transfer mistake with Jose Mourinho signing
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