Diogo Dalot praises AC Milan legend for his guidance during the Portuguese’s loan spell at San Siro!

Diogo Dalot heaped praise on AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini for reviving his career at Manchester United. The Portuguese rose through the ranks at FC Porto. The Red Devils bought Dalot as a teenager for £19 million in June 2018.

Dalot currently plays as a fullback under Erik Ten Hag’s current system. The 25-year old often starts as a left back under Ten Hag offering more fluidity.

The Portuguese struggled during his first two seasons with The Red Devils. AC Milan loaned him and Dalot was ready for some game time.

How crucial is Diogo Dalot for United?

Manchester United have taken serious hits this season. With defense being shattered and players being unavailable due to injury, The Red Devils could struggle to qualify for Europe. United have conceded 58 goals and are currently 8th on the league table with a -3 goal difference. The defense has been a horror show for United fans so far.

In a season full of 65 different cases of injuries/illness, Diogo Dalot has been incredibly consistent with his performances for The Red Devils.

Tyrell Malacia has been unavailable all season due to his setbacks in recovery from a knee meniscus surgery. Moreover, Luke Shaw has mere played 14 games this season. The left back has played a vital role at Manchester United in recent years. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has made 25 appearances but has been inconsistent.

Manchester United’s highest capped full back this season is Diogo Dalot. The 25-year old has made 43 appearances in all competitions for The Red Devils this campaign. Not just constantly available, Dalot’s consistency has been impressive. The Portuguese has been a joy to watch. Additionally, Dalot’s versatility over both flanks makes him a key player to the current United squad.

Dalot at Milan: A revelation!

Milan loaned out Diogo Dalot from Manchester United under Stefano Pioli wherein the Portuguese made 33 appearances in his only season at The Rossoneri. Therefore, getting valuable game time at the San Siro.

Dalot was a key player in Pioli’s side and helped AC Milan cruise to a second spot finish in the Serie A 2020-21. Hence, helping The Rossoneri in qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in seven long years!

Dalot on Maldini: “He’s a cool guy”

Italian football legend Paolo Maldini was the Technical Director at AC Milan when Dalot joined. The Portuguese credits Maldini for his guidance that significantly improved Dalot’s game.

The 25-year old went on to say:

“I played loads of minutes, which I needed, as I’d not played regularly for almost a year and a half.

Culturally it was important, too – to play in another league and learn a new language. Milan is a cool city, but because of COVID, most things were closed.

Dalot suggests that Paolo Maldini was always available to mentor him even when he did not have a daily role on the training ground. The Portuguese added:

“He’s a cool guy and his presence as a director was good for us. He was close to the players, but knew his boundaries. He wouldn’t step into the manager’s decisions and contradict him, but he’d say,

You’re playing well but you could do this better. Sometimes it wasn’t just technical advice, but mental messages, like, Be more patient or Try to focus on this situation. When I arrived, he spoke to me in English, but I asked him to speak to me in Italian as I improved.”

What’s next for Diogo Dalot?

After a string of key outings, Diogo Dalot is being considered as one of the favorites for the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award this season.

The 25-year old fullback has put in some key shifts for The Red Devils this season. The Portuguese will be keen to build onto his good run of form and establish himself as a fan favorite at the Old Trafford.

As featured on ManUNews.com

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