Another day, another Manchester United transfer saga. This time, however, it's an outgoing rumour that takes centre stage.
Red Devils full back Diogo Dalot has apparently been 'told' he is free to leave after the club signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace. This notion has since been dismissed by Old Trafford sources, but the noises surrounding the rumour remain strange.
United have already snapped up Daniel James from Swansea City as Solskjaer looks to revamp his squad. The club appear to show no sign of ending their recruitment drive anytime soon either after launching a £70m bid for Leicester City defender Harry Maguire.
While these signings may please the United faithful, it seems ludicrous that the club are willing to undo all this hard work by allowing one of their brightest players from last season to leave.
The 20-year-old made 25 appearances in his debut season at United, playing in the right back and right wing positions. He is regarded as one of their most exciting young talents, but apparently the club may look to offload him in search of reclaiming some of the money spent on signing Wan-Bissaka.
Dalot has proven relentlessly that he is an invaluable squad member despite his short tenure at the club. So why oh why would the club consider shifting him, albeit even if for one season?
Good news for the angry people who’ve reacted to this - it’s something I’ve merely read! - it’s been dismissed by club sources (Telegraph).— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) June 30, 2019
More game time perhaps? Wan-Bissaka is set to become United's first choice right back, leaving Dalot on the sidelines needing to fight for his place. However, it is hard to remember a time in the post-Alex Ferguson era when United were fortunate enough to have two world class young talents fighting for positions and pushing each other on.
Having said that, the Portuguese star has the versatility and capability to play in either full back position as well as a more attacking role with Wan-Bissaka behind him. United's decision to release several players has left them with major gaps in the squad and if the Portuguese were to stay, he would most certainly get a fair amount of game time.
Delighted with Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Going to be a great partnership with him and Diogo Dalot pushing each other on. A specialist defensive full back has been missing for years. Great deal.— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) June 26, 2019
Last season, Dalot was at the heart of some of United's most memorable moments. Most notably, he won the all-important penalty as the Red Devils pulled off a miraculous comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
In addition, he came off the bench and produced a simply scintillating display against Southampton, providing two assists as United came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Old Trafford to keep their top four hopes alive.
It is worth noting that arguably some of Dalot's best performances in a United shirt came when he played further up the pitch. He has pace, power and possesses a crossing ability that frightens opposition defenders.
United have struggled down the right side when attacking and it is all the more worrying considering the club doesn't actually have a first choice right winger. Ok, sure, there's Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard who have mainly occupied the position, but a combined total of four assists in the Premier League last season says it all about their contributions.
Occasionally, Solskjaer turned towards his number nine Romelu Lukaku in a desperate attempt to fill that position. The signing of Daniel James goes someway to rectifying this issue but it would be nonsensical to throw the 21-year-old in at the deep end straight away. Instead, Dalot has all the attributes needed to become a world class winger with some guidance from the training staff.
The Old Trafford side remain at risk of losing some of their top names this summer, with Paul Pogba heavily linked with Real Madrid and Romelu Lukaku edging towards a move to Inter.
The club may believe they have replaced Dalot and are therefore open to allowing him to leave, but he is so much more to the club than just a 'prospect'. Instead, they would be losing an integral member of the squad who performed in key moments when other more senior members wilted when called upon.
In a dire season for United, the Portuguese youngster has truly been a breath of fresh air and would be sorely missed.