Diogo Dalot Shows Why Jose Mourinho Should Trust Man United Youth

For the first time this season, Manchester United managed to hit four goals in one game as they defeated Fulham at Old Trafford.

Their 4-1 win over The Cottagers was The Red Devils first Premier League win in their last four attempts. It also moved the English giants back into the top six.

Two of the club’s younger players starred in the win, with right back Diogo Dalot and Marcus Rasford giving their side a much needed fresh impetus.

Nineteen year old Dalot arrived in a £19m deal from FC Porto in the summer. He’s been used sparingly thus far but when he’s played he’s looked very decent.

Yesterday was the first time Diogo managed to play two games in a row and he handled the occasion well.

He had a tricky night against Arsenal in mid-week, where he was up against Sead Kolasinac and, at times, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Now while the Portuguese under-21 star looked a bit raw at times, he was persistent in trying to do his job both defensively and going forward.

When you look at the stats from Whoscored on the game, you’ll notice that Diogo won more tackles and aerial battles than Kolasinac.

Dalot flourished more against Claudio Ranieri’s Fulham, especially when he was going forward. The full-back was a constant threat down the right-side and offered up plenty of accurate crosses into the penalty area.

In what was only his second Premier League start, the teenager showed great composure beyond his tender years. He managed to keep fellow teen and hot prospect Ryan Sessegnon quiet.

The United youngster had eighty touches of the ball (the fifth best tally on the park) and he also made three key passes for teammates. He also, along with Rashford, had the most successful amount of dribbles.

Defensively the right back once again showed us that he’s good in the air, winning all of his three aerial duels. He also enjoyed a 100% tackling success record.

The young defender showed a willingness not to sit back, he was always willing to burst forward and his crossing into the box helped keep the opposition on the back foot. United have often lacked that positive attitude this season.

Matteo Darmian hasn’t been consistent enough at Old Trafford and it seems as though it would be better for all parties if he leaves to revive his career elsewhere. Club captain Antonio Valencia isn’t getting any younger and according to The Bleacher Report the veteran is going to depart Man United after a series of rows with boss Jose Mourinho.

It seems clear to me, that Diogo Dalot is going to be United’s longterm right back and he could be the man that finally fills the void left by the retired Gary Neville.

After his recent performances, I’d personally keep him in the team and make use of his energy and enthusiasm.

Marcus Rashford was another young player that had a fine game this Saturday. The England international was played out on the left and he constantly looked to attack the opposition’s backline.

He was a threat from set-pieces and his fine display was rewarded with a goal from a superb strike.

No United player has bettered Rashford’s five league assists, so far this term.  As well as his goal yesterday; he created two assists, made the most successful amount of dribbles and created three key passes.

People may slate Jose for not playing Marcus enough but I don’t buy into that theory. We’ve seen plenty of the young forward in the last three seasons. The twenty-one year old has made eighty Premier League appearances alone. Granted a lot of those were from the bench, but he’s definitely getting plenty of game time.

I believe the issue is that Mourinho isn’t always playing Rashford to his strengths.

The coach is playing the international in wide positions and he wants to see defensive discipline from his wide-men. Marcus broke onto the scene as a goal getting forward and now he’s being moulded into Jose’s more pragmatic style.

Unfortunately when you ask a young attacker to be more defensive minded, you sometimes take away some of that explosive creativity that got them noticed in the first place.

I still think Mourinho needs to let his team go more on the front foot and really attack teams. If they go into games with a’ defend at all costs’ attitude it seems to confuse things within the team and they end up panicking.

Another young guy that’s outplaying a lot of the older players has been Anthony Martial.

The young French forward hasn’t always enjoyed his time playing under Jose but when he gets a run in the team, he performs. He possesses terrific pace, can glide beyond markers and he can be as lethal as a Thierry Henry.

Martial is Man Utd’s leading scorer this term with seven league goals in nine starts!

Luke Shaw has comeback from the brink to regain his place in the starting eleven and he too has been one of the better performers for the Red Devils this year. He’s made twelve starts; makes on average two successful tackles per game and around three clearances too.

Mourinho has even praised Shaw to Sky Sports for turning his Man United career around and earning himself a new deal:

“The kid was very focused on his objectives and he got what he fought for. He really fought for it. He got a new contract that keeps him here for many years.”

Surely it’s time for Jose Mourinho to realise that he needs to field these youngsters more and more. They give the line-up a freshness and a hunger that they seem to desperately need.

The fans will give you more time and buy into what you’re doing at Old Trafford, if they see young players out there giving it everything and attacking teams.

You’ll not get superb performances all the time from them but they’ll bounce back; as Shaw, Martial and Rashford have all proven this term!

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