An impressive debut. The ability to cross. Are you all-in on Diogo Dalot? Because tBB is seriously thinking about it, and we’re not letting previous bold predictions get in the way. Okay, so Nigel Reo-Coker didn’t turn out to be the next Roy Keane, but really, who is to blame for that?
Anyway, if you are currently doodling sketches for your DALOT BALLON D’OR 2022 tattoo, then this weekend’s going to be a little bit of a let down. According to Jose Mourinho, who really ought to know, the lad won’t play against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Sad, but sensible, since he’s only just back from injury and there’s a fairly short turnaround between the two games.
Quoth the boss, in his pre-game press conference:
I want him in this process of adaptation. I want him to play totally fresh, so he’s not playing tomorrow. He plays Tuesday again. I want him to play totally fresh. To play for Manchester United is difficult enough for a kid of 19 years old, coming from another country and after an important injury and surgery, I think is difficult enough.
We’re also guessing that secretly, deep down, he doesn’t mind the idea of opting for the more experienced Antonio Valencia against a pretty decent Wolves team.
Other team news: Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic are both suspended, so won’t be appearing either. Also missing will be the injured Marcos Rojo and Ander Herrera, though the latter is apparently “in the final phase of his recovery”, so that’s nice. Phil Jones is back, but Mourinho says he’s reluctant to muck about with a winning team:
I think the team as a team is resolving the defensive problems better than before. I don’t want to say it was Bailly or Jones, and it’s now Smalling or Lindelof. I think the team is more compact, is more solid, the spirit, the co-operation, the empathy, the communication, all of that improved in the team and good results bring confidence. I think we are improving as a team.
A thing we’d forgotten: Wolves’ manager, Nuno Espirito Santo, played for Jose Mourinho at Porto, and was on the bench when they won the Champions League in 2004. Time, eh? Always hurtling onwards.