·25 September 2022
·25 September 2022
Just over one year ago, it was completely inconceivable to imagine that Diogo Dalot would be starting every game for Manchester United and Portugal, whilst Aaron Wan-Bissaka barely gets a look in.
Dalot was on the periphery under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and when the Norwegian sent him on loan to AC Milan, it felt like United were preparing for his eventual permanent departure.
After a relatively successful campaign with Milan, the expectation was that he would leave in 2021. A move never materialised and he started the 2021/22 season as the backup to Wan-Bissaka.
12 months later, the state of play couldn’t be more polarising. Wan-Bisska was almost immediately dropped by Ralf Rangnick at the end of 2021 and Dalot quickly assumed the first-choice role.
Dalot didn’t cover himself in glory over the German’s ill-advised tenure at Old Trafford but the feeling was still that Erik ten Hag would prefer him to Wan-Bissaka. And so it turned out to be.
Dalot has started all six of Manchester United’s league games this season and he’s also a regular for Portugal, with his recent form catching the eye in particular. Earlier this week, he scored his first two goals for his nation. For perspective, he has only scored one league goal in his career.
The 23-year-old is in the best form of his career and it’s an increasingly likely possibility that he leaves the club next summer when his contract expires.
Wan-Bissaka is also likely to leave. United scoured the market for a right-back over the summer but ultimately, the budget didn’t allow a transfer to be finalised.
The immediate future is uncertain for Wan-Bissaka and it’s going to take quite the effort to regain his place in the side. Bluntly put, he simply does not offer Ten Hag what Dalot does.
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