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Diogo Dalot: Manchester United star grows in defensive responsibilities

by Marwan Harraz
Diogo Dalot

Manchester United star Diogo Dalot has been impressive of late but one aspect of his game that perhaps isn’t being praised enough is his defensive abilities.

Many often justified Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s inclusion ahead of the Portuguese because of the latter’s defensive liabilities but that’s no longer the case.

Dalot’s 16 ball recoveries vs Brighton isn’t just impressive because of the sheer number of them but because of the fact he outperformed every player on the pitch in that respect.

Ralf Rangnick talked about having to bring on Alex Telles on the left-wing to protect Luke Shaw at left-back but didn’t feel the need to do the same for the young right-back.

Perhaps this was because the Englishman’s flank was being bombarded with Brighton’s attack but perhaps it was equally because Dalot held his own on his side.

Wan-Bissaka has many positive attributes, particularly his one v one ability and his ability to recover and tackle.

However, despite once being considered a superior defender, there are aspects of his defensive game that are sub-par.

These can be issues with his positioning, his ability to win headers, and often he seems to daydream and lose his attacker, particularly on the far post.

Of course, Dalot isn’t perfect but it’s safe to say at the moment he has more to offer United and fits Rangnick’s way of playing better.

Wan-Bissaka’s injuries and illnesses of late has helped fast-track the former Porto man’s run in the starting XI but it’s difficult to see how the former can overtake the latter again.

Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see whether Rangnick ever opens the door again or if he’s made his mind up on the former Crystal Palace man.

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