Man Utd: £19m star is ‘most improved player' under Ten Hag at Old Trafford

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot is the ‘most improved player of the season’ so far, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The 23-year-old has cemented his status as Erik ten Hag’s first-choice right-back in the early stages of the new manager’s reign and has so far justified his selection in the starting XI.

What is the latest news involving Dalot?

Dalot first arrived at Old Trafford via a £19 million move from his boyhood club FC Porto back in 2018 when he was still a teenager.

Jose Mourinho was the United manager when the Portugal international joined and labelled him an “extremely talented young defender with all the qualities to quickly become a great player for this club.”

However, Dalot started just 13 Premier League games during his first two campaigns with the Red Devils before enjoying a season-long loan spell with AC Milan throughout 2020/21.

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He then displaced Aaron Wan-Bissaka at full-back following the arrival of former interim boss Ralf Rangnick last November and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

United were linked with the likes of Sergino Dest and Denzel Dumfries in the summer window, though, but that was perhaps more an indication that Wan-Bissaka’s days at the club are numbered.

What has Jones said about Dalot?

Ten Hag’s charges have recovered well following a shocking start to the campaign when they lost their opening two encounters to Brighton and Brentford.

Dalot has more than played his part in United’s upturn in form, and Jones has praised his performances in a recent interview with GiveMeSport.

He said: “He’s been the most improved player of the season so far. And it might just get them through to that January window when they can reassess it.”

How well has Dalot been playing?

Dalot has provided one assist in his seven appearances across all competitions so far this season, but his underlying numbers have been extremely impressive.

As per WhoScored, the 6 foot ace has won two aerial duels, 2.3 tackles, as well as making 1.5 interceptions, 2.5 clearances, 1.7 key passes, and 0.8 crosses per league game, placing him in the top four for each metric when compared to his teammates.

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Those figures clearly illustrate that Dalot is doing his defensive duties well while also providing a significant threat in the final third of the pitch.

Maintaining this form could be crucial to Dalot’s prospects of keeping his place for the foreseeable future, and proving his worth to Ten Hag.

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