11 Mar 2022 | 10:31 | Football
Rangnick talks about the MU central defender pair
Diogo Dalot arrived at Manchester United in the summer of 2018 for £19 million, hailed by Jose Mourinho as one of the best young defenders in the world at the time. However, he did not play much when Mourinho was sacked, last year went to AC Milan on loan and was given a high possibility of leaving.
However, Dalot started eight consecutive games during January and February. Dalot was expected to start against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League but Victor Lindelof was unexpectedly selected at right-back, replacing Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Wan-Bissaka has started in the last two matches against Watford and Manchester City, where he played poorly and received much criticism, helping Dalot to return for this weekend’s important game against Tottenham at Old Trafford.
Since Rangnick’s appointment, United have kept five clean sheets and conceded eight goals in Dalot’s 11 appearances. When Wan-Bissaka started, United lost 9 goals in 6 games and kept 1 clean sheet. Dalot had improved in form around the same time Rangnick arrived at United. He was making an average of seven recoveries per game and had the highest number of shots on target of any United full-back. The Portuguese won 70% of the duels, averaging 14 duels per game with 9 wins. He also has the best win rate in aerial duels (64%).
Dalot said: “The fact that my numbers have improved so much is related to a combination of many aspects. Being able to play regularly gives me more physical capacity to play well. I have speed and I have power, now we’re going to use that in a smarter way, trying to read and anticipate the situation.”
“The messages that Ralf sends are also important, he likes players who are quick to react, are smart, know how to read the game and push forward. I confess that it worked and I have noticed that. That’s it, especially in the ball-recovery stats. Putting all these pieces together is key to getting these numbers.”