Diogo Dalot produced a thrilling performance at right-back during Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Fulham in the Premier League.
The teenager, who only made his first full Premier League appearance a few days ago, tormented Fulham’s left hand side from start to finish.
He bombed down his flank with venom and, in sharp contrast to Antonio Valencia, supplied early, quick, dangerous fizzing crosses into Romelu Lukaku and others, providing Man United with a new dimension of attack.
Dalot’s numbers from the game suggest that United have somebody pretty special up their sleeves.
Diogo Dalot's game by numbers vs. Fulham:
20 passes into the final third
second most crosses (8)
joint most chances created (3)
joint most successful dribbles (3)
3 aerial duels won
A statement performance. ???????????? pic.twitter.com/SS1GHXWLDh
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 8, 2018
In a word: refreshing. Diogo Dalot is, above all, refreshing to see in a United shirt. Supporters have had enough of the days of Valencia and Ashley Young lumbering down the flank, supplying crosses devoid of pace or accuracy or even the slightest element danger.
With Dalot, Mourinho has a hungry, ebullient, modern full-back who loves nothing more than bombing down the pitch and getting crosses in the box. Crucially, he hits crosses early, with a kind of arcing bend that. Almost Beckham-esque, you could say. There is a ferocity to Dalot – both in his crosses and general style of play – which feels light years away from the two 33-year-olds who have hitherto dominated the full-back slots.
On Saturday’s evidence, Mourinho has found his new first choice right-back.