Bye bye Valencia and Darmian? What does the arrival of this £19m new signing mean to the Man United duo

Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Diogo Dalot from FC Porto. The Portuguese player has arrived for a fee of £19m, having signed a five-year contract with the club.

Although not much is known about Dalot, Jose Mourinho has always been smart when it comes to picking defenders out of obscurity and turning them into world-class players. Hence, the Portuguese’s decision to sign Dalot should be a safe bet for United.

As far as Dalot is concerned, he joined Porto’s academy in 2008 and represented the club on several levels before making his senior debut in a Portuguese Cup game in October 2017.

The full-back went onto make only eight appearances over the course of the last season while his only Champions League adventure came against Liverpool in the 0-0 draw at Anfield in March.

Although he is primarily a right-back, Dalot is equally adept at playing on the left. He is an attacking full-back and seems to have a penchant for marauding forward.

Defensively, he is solid as he reads the game well and is comfortable with the ball at his feet. Known for his physicality, technical prowess and aggression, Dalot is sure to please Mourinho.

This past season, United finished in the runners-up spot while arch-rivals Manchester City walked away with the Premier League title.

It can be argued that the Red Devils made considerable progress when compared to the last campaign but the 19-point difference between United and City showed the gulf in class.

It is evident that a lot of work needs to be done and Mourinho has already completed the signing of Fred and Dalot. While Fred should help in getting the best out of Paul Pogba, Dalot will compete with Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian for the right-back spot.

Over the course of the recently concluded season, the Red Devils have faced a lot of problems as far as the defence is concerned.

On the right, Antonio Valencia did a commendable job, offering limited attack prowess but extreme defensive diligence. But the Colombian is on the wrong side of 30 and needs to be replaced sooner rather than later.

Antonio Valencia

Meanwhile, Matteo Darmian has not lived up to his potential and is reportedly set for a move to Juventus.

Dalot might not be blessed with abundant experience but he does not lack talent and is expected to adapt to the Premier League quickly. Due to his versatility, the young Portuguese will also be able to play at left-back whenever required.

The 19-year-old’s arrival effectively marks the beginning of Mourinho’s mission to revamp his defence ahead of the next season. While Dalot is unlikely to walk straight into the first-team, it will be interesting to see what role he plays in his maiden season at Old Trafford.

Looking at the current scheme of things at United, Dalot could become Valencia’s understudy in the 2018/19 campaign, with Darmian all set to return back to Italy.

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Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.
Follow me @garrydevildada

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