Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot has expressed his excitement at Erik ten Hag’s appointment as the club’s manager, arguing that his job at Ajax has proven he has what it takes.
Dalot was on the peripheries under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season but has gained the trust of Ralf Rangnick, who has shown little confidence in Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Dalot’s biggest competitor on the right flank.
Dalot’s days at Old Trafford seemed to have been numbered last season but Rangnick’s arrival changed that and the defender is now looking forward to working under Ten Hag.
“It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to work with such a great manager,” he is quoted as saying by the official Manchester United website.
“His work at Ajax is outstanding. I think everybody falls in love with the attractive football he has played with that Ajax team. I’m sure we are going to be very happy to have him here and to start to work with him.
“Hopefully, like I said, we can finish the [next] season fighting for trophies and being there with hunger and competing with the other teams. But we are going step by step, we’re going to start well and hopefully, next season, can do better than this one.”
The 23-year-old has just one year remaining on his current deal at United but the club could exercise their option to extend that contract a further year.
It remains to be seen which positions Ten Hag identifies as crucially insufficient this summer – there’s cause to believe that he would be keen to add a full-back or two to the ranks.
United’s wide defenders have underperformed this season and although Luke Shaw and Wan-Bissaka are the main culprits, Dalot is not safe from danger.
Nearly four years since joining the club from Porto, he is yet to nail down that position as his own and he’ll be hoping to enjoy the biggest breakthrough of his career under Ten Hag.
The Dutchman likes his full-backs to aid the side in the final third and that’s an area Dalot clearly holds an advantage over Wan-Bissaka, who has been linked with a move back to Crystal Palace.