Following an impressive first showing together during Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Young Boys in the Champions League, young full back pairing Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot have been challenged by Owen Hargreaves to emulate Liverpool counterparts Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Shaw in particular has made a strong start to the season as United’s first choice left back, having previously faced increasing questions over his future at Old Trafford in recent times, whilst Dalot impressed during his first start under Jose Mourinho on Wednesday night.
Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot flying down the wings. Finally, Manchester United have full backs that possess end product. Hopefully they stay fit and add consistency to United's wings moving forward. Great signs.— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) September 19, 2018
With Shaw still only 23 and new boy Dalot just 19 years old, there is a sense that the duo could go on to become a formidable long-term full back pairing for United, and speaking on BT Sport, via the Daily Star, former United star Hargreaves told the pair to match the exploits of Liverpool’s star full backs.
The ex-Bayern Munich midfielder said: “At that time (of Shaw breaking his leg), he was flying. He was exceptional in that left back position. So I think to come back from that takes time.
“The one thing, even Van Gaal criticised a bit, was maybe his work ethic at times. That comes from training every day, you’ve got to show the manager that you want (to play).
Tonight’s positives:— Rob Blanchette (@_Rob_B) September 19, 2018
1) Dalot looks ace. I was emotional seeing a real-life #MUFC right-back playing like a modern wing back. Amazing.
2) Pogba. Showing something that looks like consistency.
3) Lindelof is starting to look like a defender.
4) Luke Shaw. Luke Shaw & Luke Shaw.
“He’s probably been one of United’s best players this season so far. Maybe the young United full backs can emulate the two terrific full backs from Liverpool – Robertson and Alexander-Arnold.”
Dalot was a £19m summer signing from Porto and is regarded as a potential long-term successor to Antonio Valencia in United’s right back berth. Hargreaves, for one, has argued that the Portuguese star has a big future at Old Trafford.
“This kid I like, he’s got something,” Hargreaves continued. “He’s a terrific crosser of the ball, look at that for a cross. Technically he’s quite good as well, we saw some step-overs in there as well.”
Dalot may well go on to become the next in a prestigious line of Portuguese stars to grace Old Trafford, and will hope to have put himself in contention for United’s next Premier League clash against another side of strong Portuguese persuasion in Wolves on Saturday.