Diogo Dalot

Diogo sets target after 'fantastic' season

Tuesday 03 August 2021 07:00

Manchester United full-back Diogo Dalot has set himself a personal target ahead of the new campaign.

The Portuguese defender benefitted from a strong season on loan with AC Milan, helping the Rossoneri to second place in Serie A.

Now the 22-year-old is back with the Reds first-team squad at our training camp in St Andrews, and he wants to build on the ‘fantastic’ time he had in Italy.

“Keep developing,” Dalot replied when asked about his hopes for 2021/22. “When I had a season like last season obviously the things start to get more demanding as well.

“I want to keep playing, I want to keep giving everything I have and improve. I know last season was fantastic but I can do even more.”

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Dalot crossed paths with United last season, as we knocked Milan out of the Europa League at the round of 16 stage.

Despite that setback, it was a largely positive campaign for the Serie A outfit, who made it back into the Champions League for the first time since 2013/14.

And, after 33 games and two goals, Diogo certainly cherishes the time he spent with one of Europe’s biggest clubs, alongside the likes of ex-Red Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“It was perfect,” Diogo added. “The goal for last season was to get minutes again, get my legs going. Be fit. And I had it.

“I think I was one of the only players in the [AC Milan] squad that was available for all the games during the season and for me that was a very good point as well besides of course the minutes and games I played, which were a lot.

“Like I said, it was perfect. I met very good people in the club, very good people in the city and it was fantastic.

“Every season you learn a little bit more,” he continued. “Not just about yourself but about life, about football and about other experiences as well.

“The chance to play in another fantastic league brought me some very good stuff, not just for football but for my life as well. “Experience-wise it was fantastic and in the end I’m very happy with what I did last season.”

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Dalot’s season didn’t end there though, as he was involved in two separate Portugal squads this summer.

First, he played every minute as the Under-21s made it to the final of their European Championships, before losing to Germany.

He was then drafted into the Euro 2020 senior set-up as a late replacement for Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo, playing against France and Belgium.

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Diogo shared an emotional message on social media after making his senior debut for Portugal on Wednesday.

Fernando Santos’s side may have failed to defend the title they claimed in 2016, but it was another important experience in Dalot’s fledgling career.

“Yeah, it was one of the most beautiful summers that I’ve had in a long time.

“Obviously with the Under-21s, [we got to] the final. The tournament was fantastic. We deserved to win but in the end we couldn’t.

“And then a little bit I was not expecting at all but to be called up last minute for the Euros in the first squad was like a dream come true. Something very, very good for me and my family and it was fantastic to be a part of it.”

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