Jose Mourinho’s final transfer window at Manchester United didn’t go to plan. He wanted Harry Maguire and Toby Alderweireld to sure up his defence but, instead, landed Fred and Lee Grant instead. He also secured the signing of Diogo Dalot, tipping him to be the club’s right-back for the next decade. But, in the wake of the Red Devils’ 2-1 win over Norwich on Saturday, the current Tottenham boss may have been mistaken.
Few had heard of Dalot when United signed him from Porto, paying a big £18million to bring the right-back to Old Trafford nearly two years ago.
But, at the time, Mourinho was full of praise for his compatriot.
“The kid Diogo, fantastic. I think Gary Neville must be thinking that Manchester United now has a very good right back for ten years,” he said.
Mourinho’s time with Dalot was cut short, however, when he lost his job as United manager back in December 2018.
Ed Woodward had grown tired of his doom and gloom demeanour and chose to put him out of his misery, with the Red Devils toiling at the time.
In Dalot, Mourinho may well have felt he left United the ideal parting gift.
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Defensively, Dalot looked suspect. Norwich experienced great joy down the left and, on more than one occasion, fashioned an opening from that position.
And he offered United little going forward, too, with most of his crosses sailing over everybody in the area and out the other side.
This was meant to be his chance to show that Mourinho was right and, despite Wan-Bissaka being at the club, he has what it takes to stay for a decade.
But, instead, the opportunity passed him by.
It was no surprise that Dalot was hooked, with youngster Brandon Williams coming on in his place.
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And it spoke volumes that United preferred to play Williams away from his favoured left-back position as they hunted a winner at Carrow Road.
Mourinho got many things right during his time as United manager.
He always felt Marcus Rashford was right for the wing, despite many insisting he should be deployed as a centre-forward instead.
He knew Maguire would make a difference to this United defence, hence why he was furious when the centre-back didn’t join two years ago.
And he also believed Paul Pogba’s best could be in a two-man midfield including Nemanja Matic.
But, based on Saturday’s performance against Norwich, the Tottenham boss got Dalot very, very wrong.
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