The Portuguese is closing in on a return to first team action after a frustrating spell on the sidelines which has stalled his development
Diogo Dalot is determined to “come back stronger” after missing the first half of Manchester United’s 2019-20 campaign through injury, having returned to full training this week.
Dalot missed the start of the season due to a hip issue and suffered another major setback after getting back on the pitch in time for a trip to St James’ Park.
The 20-year-old has not played since United’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle on October 6, missing 15 matches across all competitions in total with a groin injury.
In his absence, summer signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka has made the right-back spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s line-up his own, and the Red Devils have started to close the gap on their top-four rivals.
United are back in Premier League action against Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday, as they continue to negotiate their way through a hectic winter schedule.
Dalot is training with the senior squad once again after making a full recovery from injury, and his return gives Solskjaer another option in defence as he looks to keep everyone fresh heading into the new year.
The Portugal U21 international is ready to “give everything” to United’s cause after coming through a testing period, as he told the club’s official website: “I hope [to be back] as soon as possible. Of course, that doesn’t depend fully, 100 per cent, on me.
“Of course the manager will decide that and my job is to give everything in training to be ready for him. And when the manager thinks I am ready, I will be there for sure.”
When asked to comment on competing with Wan-Bissaka for a regular place in Solskjaer’s starting XI, Dalot responded: “I’ve said it a couple of times – for me, it’s the perfect way to develop and to grow. Talking about me of course, Aaron is in a very good mood and is playing very well and for me that makes me push harder and even harder.
“I like that. Like I have said, the easy way is always to run away from your problems. Of course, this is a good problem, not a bad problem.
“I think this will make me a better player, it will make Aaron a better player and make the team even better because this kind of competition is very good for the team.”
United could move back into fifth place in the Premier League standings with a win over Watford, as they aim to bounce back from a disappointing 1-1 draw against Everton last Sunday.
The Red Devils were on a high prior to that contest after back-to-back wins over Tottenham and Manchester City, which helped convince a number of fans and experts that Solskjaer has finally got the team heading in the right direction.
Dalot added on those two victories and his own desire to be involved in such occasions: “I think they were massive. The most enjoyable part is when you come to the training ground after games like that, everyone is happy and everyone is fully motivated to go again and you just want to be a part of that.
“Of course, when you are out [injured] and you can’t help the team, it’s difficult inside your mind but when the team wins it is a little bit easier because you know that the lads are doing good.
“When results are not so good, you wish you were there, you wish you could help the team. But again, it [being injured] is part of football and you need to focus on the other side of it because when that part comes, you need to be ready as soon as possible.
“You need to focus on your recovery so you will be there to help the team.”