Diogo Dalot has said that he is ‘enjoying’ life as a Manchester United player, while also chatting about working under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as well as the comparisons to United legend, Gary Neville.
Dalot joined Manchester United as a rather surprise arrival, moving from FC Porto having only made eight first-team appearances for the Portuguese giants before his £19 million move to Old Trafford in the summer.
He has made just eight appearances in the Premier League with Ashley Young currently ahead of the youngster in the pecking order at United, and he has described the step up from the Portuguese top flight as ‘a massive learning curve’.
“It’s a massive learning curve. I think the first part of the season was tough because I had injuries, and I only started playing and training with full fitness from December on,” Dalot told Sky Sports.
“This year was a learning year for me, and I will keep learning more until the end of the season. [I’ve learned] more mentally to be ready for this kind of situation, to get an injury, to not play, to start getting fit again. For me, to learn that was a big achievement, and I think I am doing pretty well.
“I’m enjoying it. I came to this club and knew it would be difficult for me, I have good players in my position and I can learn a lot from them. I think I can have the opportunity to play many, many years here.”
Dalot of course arrived while his fellow countryman, Jose Mourinho, was at the helm at Old Trafford, and the young right-back confirmed that Manchester United’s current caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is playing more attacking football than his predecessor.
“The biggest difference was the atmosphere we had inside the locker room. I think the tactical parts too, the game we are playing, we play more to the forward part, so I think we changed a couple things and hopefully we can still change a little bit more because we are not perfect.
“It wasn’t wrong, but I think when you change coach there is something which changes for itself, it’s not something about the coach, something [you think]: ‘We changed the manager, OK, now we need to change ourselves, too.’ I think we changed for better, when we get the results we’ve got.”
Dalot, 19, has been likened to United legend Gary Neville, who served as the clubs first choice right-back for the best part of 20 years. However, he has said that he wants to build his own history during his time at Old Trafford, a spell in which he hopes lasts for ‘many years’.
“[The comparison] brings responsibility, but I wouldn’t accept it if I couldn’t be at the top, and for me it’s a pleasure being compared to those types of players,” he said.
“They are words of Mourinho, I need to build my own history here and that’s to always keep improving, and hopefully I can be here for many years to play for United.”