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‘He convinced’ – Diogo Dalot names ‘unique’ former Man Utd man who had ‘big influence’ on his career, he became more confident

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Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot has revealed that one legendary figure had a “big influence” on the trajectory of his career and was “unique” in the way of communicating.

Diogo Dalot emerged as a key player for Erik ten Hag in the 2023-24 season, with the Manchester United defender excelling for the Premier League club.

The 25-year-old United star made a whopping 50 appearances across all competitions and scored three times and picked up five assists in the campaign.

Dalot also showed his versatility by playing both at left-back and right-back amid Erik ten Hag dealing with an injury crisis during the 2023-24 campaign.

The United right-back firmly established himself in his preferred position as the first-choice pick ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who could leave Old Trafford this summer.

Dalot’s impressive campaign with the Red Devils also earned him high recognition, including being named the Players’ Player of the Year.

However, the Red Devils defender missed out on the club’s Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award to United and Portugal teammate Bruno Fernandes.

READ MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo’s influence led to Man Utd star becoming ‘obsessed’ with improving one area, he shares his ‘secret’

Diogo Dalot (left) and Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United celebrate winning the Emirates FA Cup Final match between Manchester City and Mancheste...

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Diogo Dalot underwent his career resurgence under Erik ten Hag after falling down the pecking order under former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferred Aaron Wan-Bissaka for his first-choice right-back after he arrived at Old Trafford and Dalot was loaned out to AC Milan in 2020.

Dalot returned from his loan spell at the San Siro and unsettled Wan-Bissaka in the right-back role after Solskjaer was sacked and Ten Hag succeeded him at United.

However, the Portugal international has credited former United manager Jose Mourinho as a “big influence” on his career.

Jose Mourinho was in charge at Old Trafford when United agreed to pay Porto £19m for Dalot, who was only 19 years old at the time of signing.

The former United and Roma manager raved about Dalot at the time, with the ‘Special One’ calling him the “best young full-back in Europe” in 2018.

“It was a shame I only had a few months working with Jose Mourinho at United, but I’ll always appreciate what he did – he had a big influence on my career,” Dalot told FourFourTwo magazine.

“He convinced me to leave Porto and join United and gave me the confidence only he can give.”

READ MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo has become ‘most influential person’ in one Man Utd star’s life, he’s tapping into his ‘vast experience’

Dalot on Mourinho’s ‘unique’ ability

Jose Mourinho, who has been out of management since he was axed from Roma in January, enjoyed success during his time in the Old Trafford dugout.

The 61-year-old Portuguese manager lifted the League Cup and the Europa League in his debut season at United.

Mourinho then led the Red Devils to second in the Premier League and the FA Cup final in the 2017-18 season.

However, the former Real Madrid and Chelsea head coach would make his exit from Old Trafford in 2018 after a disappointing start to the 2018-19 season.

Dalot revealed that Mourinho could make a player feel like the best in the world or the worst through his “unique” way of communicating alone.

“He has a unique way of communicating – he can make you feel the best, or worst, player in the world,” he added.

“It was a shame I only had a few months working with him at United, but I’m in contact with him and will always appreciate what he did.”

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