Diogo Dalot to Fight for Manchester United Spot amid Aaron Wan-Bissaka Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2019

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Diogo Dalot of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester United at John Smith's Stadium on May 05, 2019 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ben Early/Getty Images)
Ben Early/Getty Images

Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot is determined to cement his position as the club's long-term right-back amid constant speculation linking the Red Devils with a move for Crystal Palace star Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Dalot moved to Old Trafford from Porto last summer and was used sporadically throughout the course of a disappointing campaign for the team.

The Portuguese was used at both right-back and left-back, although speaking to the club's official magazine Inside United, he said he wants to secure a spot on the right of the defence in the upcoming season:

"I want to make my statement in the team and play as much as I can at right-back because I think it's my best position. I just need to prove that to the manager with my work.

"...I know that some people thought I might come here and not play as much as I have this season. Some people thought I would play more. We all have different opinions but, overall, I think it was a very good season to settle in, start to know the club, know the league, know the atmosphere and now there is no excuse for next season.

"I just need to push on. My goal is to make right-back my own."

Dalot arrived at United with a reputation as one of Portuguese football's most exciting prospects. Former Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho said that "in his age group, he is the best full-back in Europe." 

However, the transfer activity of the club doesn't appear to suggest that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is completely convinced by the youngster, as United appear to be ready to spend big on Wan-Bissaka.

Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe offered his opinion on the possible transfer:

B/R Football @brfootball

On #BRFootballRanks, @stighefootball's take on Aaron Wan-Bissaka's potential Manchester United move ➡️ Apple: https://t.co/IlRHBkcyUm ➡️ Spotify: https://t.co/9jK7aEWLi6 https://t.co/fjqF8R6FBI

According to Sky Sports News, the Red Devils have had a £50 million package turned down for the England youth international, with United offering an initial £35 million for the player. Palace are said to want between £45 million and £50 million up front before agreeing to any sale.

Wan-Bissaka was sensational for Palace last season, and these numbers from Squawka Football sum up why United are willing to pay so much for him:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Aaron Wan-Bissaka was the only player in the Premier League in 2018-19 with *more* than 60 tackles, 60 interceptions and 60 take-ons completed. Ticks plenty of boxes. 🤺 https://t.co/fgB9kCFcND

While the arrival of the Palace man would surely push Dalot down the pecking order, Bleacher Report's Rob Blanchette thinks United would benefit from variety in this position:

Rob Blanchette @_Rob_B

Dalot and Wan-Bissaka would give #MUFC exactly the type of modern-day right-back options they crave. A flying wing-back and a conscientious defender. It could be a combo that bears fruit within a year or 2. It will also allow Luke Shaw the scope & balance he needs on the left...

Given United will be involved in the UEFA Europa League next season and expected to go a long way in cup competitions, there should be plenty of opportunities for Dalot to get minutes, even if Wan-Bissaka does join in a big-money deal.

Nevertheless, Dalot will have a huge task on his hands to nail down the right-back slot. After an eventful first season at Old Trafford, you sense his second term will reveal more in regards to his temperament and talent.