Manchester United endured a tough start to the season but their fortunes seem to be changing.
Defeats in their first two games left them rock-bottom of the table but four straight wins have fired them up to the fifth spot.
Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Raphael Varane have all been impressive and helped significantly to stabilise United’s sinking ship.
However, Diogo Dalot has been the standout player for the Red Devils this season.
The 23-year-old has been defensively robust and a powerful threat as an attacking weapon.
Erik ten Hag preferred him as the first-choice right-back due to the attacking instinct and fierce energy he brings to the side.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league but is not an attacking full-back who offers much in the opposition’s half.
This left Ten Hag with an option to back Dalot and the young defender is repaying his manager’s faith.
Dalot – the modern full-back helping United thrive
Dalot was highly rated by Jose Mourinho but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turfed him out.
With the club backing Solskjaer to splash £50 million on Wan-Bissaka, Dalot’s time at Old Trafford was considered over. His loan move to AC Milan seemed to confirm that he had no future at United.
However, Ten Hag’s arrival transformed Dalot’s fortunes and he has rewarded the manager’s faith with some outstanding performances.
He is one of those rare players who plays with his heart on his sleeve every time he steps on the pitch. He celebrates every tackle with the same passion as a last-minute winner.
The right-back was imperious against Liverpool where he was given the task of neutralising Luis Diaz, who is one of the most dangerous forwards in the league.
New summer singing Antony will relish the opportunity to work with Dalot who won’t shy away from making overlapping runs to create space for him.
United will possess a great attacking threat from the right flank if the pair can form a bond quickly.
The Portuguese international has created ten chances from open play in the Premier League, more than any of his teammates.
He also leads the pack with the most tackles won (14) and most interceptions (9) in the six Premier League games.
Dalot already has an assist to his name in the league and helped United to win a penalty against Sheriff.
With a tactically shrewd manager at the helm, he has grabbed the opportunity bestowed to him with both hands and is now flying.
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