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'Man Utd's right-back for a decade' - Mourinho tips Dalot to follow in Gary Neville's footsteps

15:27 GMT+3 09/12/2018
Diego Dalot Manchester United
The teenager, who started the last two Premier League outings, joined United from Porto in a £19 million deal and signed a five-year contract

Diogo Dalot can replicate Gary Neville's achievements at Manchester United according to his manager, Jose Mourinho, by securing the right-back spot for the next decade.

The 19-year-old has started United's last two Premier League fixtures at right-back and has looked comfortable since moving into the first team, especially during the 4-1 win over Fulham at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The performances have inevitably drawn comparisons with Neville, who famously graduated with United's class of '96 and won eight Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues across a 19-year career.

Speaking after the Fulham victory, Mourinho told MUTV : “Everybody knows that he has fantastic potential.

“I don't want to compare, especially not the number of titles but he is probably the same age as Gary Neville when he came into the first team.

"Probably he can follow Neville in this dynamic of more than 10 years as United's right-back, with amazing conditions to improve, because as I was saying he's 19 years old.”

Dalot was signed on a five-year deal from Porto in June for £19 million ($24m) but his early months in England were hampered with injury problems. 

The Portuguese defender made his full debut against Young Boys in the Champions League in September before a second start against Derby County in the Carabao Cup, but was then kept out until December 1 by a knee problem. 

Now that he has returned, the teenager will be eager to cement himself in the Premier League but Mourinho wants to take a cautious approach. 

“He's a 19-year-old boy,” the former Porto boss added. “It's important not to forget that, not to demand from him super consistency, because he is a kid.

"He's just arrived in the Premier League and arrived after four or five matches in the Portuguese league - no more than that.”

“We are very happy. Now it's December, normally he is going to get more opportunities to play, to get experience and to be what we thought when we bought him, which is he can be Manchester United's right-back for 10 years.”

Next up for Dalot and Manchester United will be a trip to Valencia on Wednesday for the club's final Champions League group game. Mourinho's side are guaranteed a spot in the knockouts already.

Victory could secure top spot in Group H, but the Red Devils would need Juventus to drop points against bottom-placed Young Boys, who have picked up just one point from five games.