With the transfer window set to slam shut in just over three weeks’ time, Manchester United must decide on the future of Portuguese international Diogo Dalot, a decision that will prove fundamental as to whether or not a deal for fellow right-back Kieran Trippier will be completed.
Trippier, 31 next month, has been touted by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as healthy competition at right-back for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who has seemingly had the spot in defence on lockdown since his arrival back in 2019. After flourishing in his first season, the former Crystal Palace man lost consistency last campaign, so it is believed that Solskjaer would welcome Trippier as the instigator to really push Wan-Bissaka to his best, similarly to how the arrival of Alex Telles has brought out the very best of Luke Shaw on the left-hand side of the back four.
However, with Atletico Madrid wanting a fee in the region of £30m for Trippier’s services, many fans have questioned why Diogo Dalot couldn’t be the man to provide competition in the right-back spot.Embed from Getty Images
Having cost the Manchester club a mere £19m in 2018, Dalot has since featured sporadically in the United side under both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but has shown promise in the opportunities he has been given. A loan spell at AC Milan in the 2020/21 season saw the 22-year-old earn a call up to his national team at Euro 2020, as his versatility across the backline was seen as a crucial asset in the tournament. In addition, Dalot has proven that his best qualities come in the attacking area of the pitch, somewhere that Wan-Bissaka often comes under fire for being poor in. Although, the biggest justification for Dalot staying at the club to provide competition for places would quite simply be the fact that he is already at the club, meaning the Trippier funds could be used elsewhere, with many of the Old Trafford faithful crying out for the acquisition of a midfielder.
It was widely reported that Dalot would be sold at the start of the transfer window, pending the right offer was made, but with that proving difficult, loan options have since been explored. AC Milan were again keen suitors for the former Porto man, but it has been reported that the Reds are unwilling to accept any less than €4/5m as a loan fee, as per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano this morning. As a result, it is looking more and more likely that Dalot will remain at Old Trafford and the move for Trippier will fail to materialise.Embed from Getty Images
Although United fans will welcome and get behind any signing, many feel that the arrival of the ex-Spurs man would prove detrimental to the career progress of Wan-Bissaka. Having previously played alongside under-par Victor Lindelöf and behind the underwhelming likes of Daniel James, the fullback now has the chance to play with four-time Champions League winner Raphael Varane and the ever-proven Jadon Sancho down that right-hand side, and so surely deserves the opportunity to achieve his best with world-class talent surrounding him. Trippier would likely cause instability to his game time and perhaps make Wan-Bissaka lose confidence.
Youngster Bandon Williams looks set to complete a loan move to another Premier League club in the next weeks, and with the sky-high price of Kieran Trippier and the difficulty in finding a suitor for Dalot, it looks all set for the Portuguese right-back to stay at Manchester United and revitalise his career at the Theatre of Dreams. Whether or not he is the solution to competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka remains to be seen, yet the proof will be in the pudding over the next 12 months for sure.