Man Utd star adored by Mourinho’s honest admission on academy stars | Football | Sport

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Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot spoke out about young team-mates Rasmus Hojlund, Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo, issuing praise for the youngsters’ recent performances. Dalot has solidified his spot as manager Erik ten Hag’s first-choice right-back, helping the Red Devils to four consecutive Premier League wins.

Victories against Wolves, West Ham, Aston Villa and Luton have made for United’s best run of form in an otherwise disappointing season. Rasmus Hojlund has contributed six goals in his last five games, with 19-year-old Garnacho putting two past the Hammers and scoring from an unforgettable overhead kick at Goodison Park.

Academy prospect Kobbie Mainoo has also played a huge part in their recent successes, scoring a dramatic late winner away at Wolves in January.

Dalot, signed by Jose Mourinho in 2018, remembers well the expectations heaped on young players at United. He told GOAL: “I think it’s what this club is about, bringing through people from the academy and trying to make these long-term signings where you can develop and become great football players at the club. This is just a little showcase of what we can have in the future.

“Obviously in football, you don’t take anything for granted. One year you can be the best, in another year you can disappear.

“We are talking about these three players, but we have a few more in the club that are very well-guided and had a lot of support during their journey when they were kids. When I signed, I was 19. I was their age and I felt it then. It’s a tough world, a tough club to be at, but you have to be structured mentally and really well-prepared for the biggest stage.”

Ten Hag was quick to heap praise on Dalot after a strong performance against Aston Villa. Scott McTominay scored late on from the right-back’s cross, giving United a 2-1 victory. The manager said: “Everyone gets criticism but he is a fantastic player who is developing very well. He can play in so many positions and he is improving on crosses. He can score and his defending is improving so I am very pleased with him.”

The Red Devils currently sit sixth in the Premier League table, five points below a stuttering Aston Villa and three below Spurs.

Manchester United face Fulham at Old Trafford at 3pm on Saturday. While the game will not be shown on TV in the UK, talkSPORT will host live radio coverage.



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