Seemingly out of nowhere, Manchester United may have their first signing of the transfer window. Multiple reports claim that the Red Devils have secured the services of 19-year-old Diogo Dalot from Porto.
Due to the more or less surprise nature of the deal, supporters may not know everything about the starlet, and thus, here are 5 things to know about the promising right-back:
1. Transfer Details
The teenager was bought by United by a fairly popular means these days – release clause activation. United are believed to have triggered the £17.4 million figure after Jose Mourinho took great interest in the right-back.
Although the length of any potential contract is yet to be made official, it seems all but certain that a long-term deal will be in place.
Incidentally, European giants like Juventus, Napoli, Real Madrid, and Barcelona were all interested in making the signing before the Mancunian giants swept him away.
2. Career Path
Of Portuguese origin, Dalot joined Porto’s youth rank in 2008 at just 9 years of age. He went on to make strides with their B-side, from where he rose quite significantly.
He managed to break into their first team in February and made a total of seven appearances last season. Unfortunately, an injury cut short his breakthrough campaign.
The Portuguese U-21 international has to his name a Primeira Liga title, and is also a winner of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship of 2016.
3. Liverpool Cameo
His future may have been set during the Champions League tie in which Porto squared up against Liverpool. This was the game in which the Mancunian scouts first sought him to be a potential prospect.
This wasn’t a mere coincidence either. During the tie, the youngster was able to quite nicely keep Sadio Mané quiet. Yes, the same player who has been hailed as a Champions League maestro.
If this small sample space of a performance is any hint, Mourinho may have yet another player capable of pocketing the talisman of the opposing side.
4. Playing Style
Tall and immensely physical, the player is a classic Mourinho signing. While his biggest impact will come from his ability to get forward down the wing without losing possession, there may be an added benefit.
Most modern wing-backs don’t possess apt defensive capabilities, and the same can be said of United’s current options too.
In Dalot, the club has managed to grab a classical defensive player as well, who is able to remain tough in a tackle, whilst maintaining a cool head. While no player can be aptly compared to him, Hector Bellerin may be a decent measuring stick.
Lastly, he also has a knack for making key long-passes from the back, and when all fails, Old Trafford can rely on him to drive on forward to aid conduit-play.
5. How He’ll Fit Into The United Lineup
Hailed as a successor to Antonio Valencia, it seems unlikely that he will replace the talented Ecuadorian right away. At 19 years of age, a full-time first-team player may be too much to expect, although a rotational role seems the most likely way to utilize his skills and aid development.
Further, it won’t be easy going for the Portuguese right-back, as Timothy Fosu-Mensah, back from his loan-spell, will also appear as rigid competition.
Incidentally, Dalot is also adept at playing at the left-back position, and that could be used as a way to rest Young as well as make last-minute impacts during crucial games.
Most of all, Mourinho will be happy to finally have a replacement in place, and one that can possibly do wonders in the years to come.