Diogo Dalot in training kit.

Dalot and Reds up for the Golden Ball award

Summer signing Diogo Dalot is among three Manchester United players on the shortlist for the prestigious Golden Ball award, which is given to the best young player in European football.

The prize was created by Italian media outlet Tuttosport back in 2003, and is presented to the Under-21 player who is judged to have enjoyed the most impressive calendar year.

Rafael van der Vaart won the inaugural award while playing for Ajax and the most recent winner in 2017 was Kylian Mbappe, the Paris Saint-Germain and France superstar. Wayne Rooney (2004), Anderson (2008), Paul Pogba (2013) and Anthony Martial (2015) have all previously won the award.

Dalot is among the long list of 100 nominees following his breakthrough season at FC Porto, where the right-back made seven first-team appearances in 2017/18 – including a clean sheet at Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League. 

Diogo signed for United in the summer and joined Jose Mourinho’s squad for the pre-season tour of America. An injury sustained at his former club has prevented him from featuring in any of our matches so far, but the 19-year-old is working hard on his rehabilitation at the Aon Training Complex. 

Fans can cast their vote, here

Factfile: Diogo Dalot Video

At the time of Dalot's transfer to United in early June, Mourinho outlined exactly why he sanctioned the player's move to Old Trafford.

“Diogo is an extremely talented young defender with all the qualities to quickly become a great player for this club,” Jose said.

“He has all the attributes that a full-back needs: physicality, tactical intelligence and technical quality, combined with a Porto Academy mentality which prepares players for the maturity they need at the professional level.

“In his age group, he is the best full-back in Europe and we all believe he has a bright future ahead of him at Manchester United.”

Tim Fosu-Mensah has also been shortlisted for the Golden Ball award following his successful loan spell at Crystal Palace in 2017/18, which led to him featuring for the senior Netherlands team on several occasions. The Academy graduate returned to United in July and made six appearances in pre-season, before agreeing another temporary move to a Premier League club in Fulham. 

Angel Gomes is our third player on the 100-strong list, highlighting his talent and potential. The teenager signed his first professional contract with the club in December 2017 and followed that milestone with a senior debut, as a substitute in the Emirates FA Cup tie at Yeovil Town. He was among the Academy graduates who Mourinho invited to join the first-team’s pre-season campaign. 

Fans can cast their vote, here.

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