With both Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot currently out injured, Ashley Young has been deputising at right-back for Manchester United as Jose Mourinho has had to name his lineups without a recognised senior player in that role to choose from.
In fairness the England international has performed well, but at 33-years-old, his impact on games will begin to wane in the near future. Additionally, with the Ecuadorian being the same age, that position looks an ageing one for the Red Devils, except for one option.
19-year-old Dalot, signed from Porto for £19m, has made just two appearances for his new employers, playing the full 90 minutes against Young Boys in the Champions League and against Derby in the League Cup.
The Portugal Under-21 international is fairly inexperienced having played just six times for Porto before his big move to Old Trafford, but he looks full of potential. He is a superb crosser, whilst his 6 foot frame helps him dominate his aerial battles.
If the United boss is serious about the long term future of the club’s right-back berth, he would play Dalot consistently upon his return to injury. Even when Valencia has been fit this season, he has not performed strongly and has played his part in what has looked to be a creaking backline.
In defence of Mourinho, he has attempted to consistently instil some youthfulness by placing his faith in 23-year-old Luke Shaw and 24-year-old Victor Lindelof; those two, alongside Dalot, could become the foundation of United’s defence for the next decade.
Additionally, £19m is a lot to spend on a player who has played just a handful of games at senior level. Mourinho or Ed Woodward must’ve been convinced by the player’s ability and potential, so why not throw him in at right-back when the position is arguably one of the most troubled at the club?