How will Man Utd line up with Fred and Dalot?

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The Red Devils have snapped up two players in as many days, but how might their additions change Jose Mourinho's first XI?

Manchester United have showed they mean business in the opening weeks of the summer transfer window.

The Red Devils have made quick work of adding Brazilian midfielder Fred and Portuguese full-back Diogo Dalot to their ranks as they look to close the gap on Premier League champions Manchester City next season.

And while more signings should be expected over the remaining two months of the window, the new duo alone are likely to change the face of United's starting line-up.

Jose Mourinho has had to rely on ageing former wingers Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young as full-backs until now, but 19-year-old Dalot gives him far greater options now.

Meanwhile, £52.5 million man Fred should provide the dynamism in midfield to counter-balance Paul Pogba on the left.

But both are versatile enough to give Mourinho multiple possibilities, so how exactly might United line up with them in the side?


DALOT AT RIGHT-BACK


Man Utd possible formation

Dalot is primarily a right-back and as such he has been signed with the long-term post on that flank in mind.

Valencia has been United's first choice in that position for the last couple of years, with Matteo Darmian having failed to make the spot his own. And it should be considered that Valencia will remain the go-to man at right-back at least for the time being.

While Dalot clearly has a great deal of ability, he only has seven senior appearances under his belt and will need to be eased into the first-team surroundings. Having come from a great academy at Porto, he is now at another of the great learning facilities in football and there is a lot he could take from Valencia's example in the next year or two.

Fred, meanwhile, seems likely to begin the 2018-19 season on the right of a midfield three with Pogba to the other side of Nemanja Matic. That would give the Frenchman the licence to play his own game in the opposition half safe in the knowledge that he has a more dynamic and powerful shield in behind him alongside Matic.


DALOT AS LEFT-BACK


Man Utd possible formation

Dalot's initial senior appearances with Porto have come as a left-back, with his versatility helping him to break into the first team earlier than might otherwise have been the case.

And United's main headache in recent times has arguably been that exact position, with Luke Shaw's difficulties over the last few years having resulted in a variety of players being tried out on the left of defence.

But just as Ashley Young and Matteo Darmian have found that playing on an unfamiliar flank can occasionally get you into trouble in the testing environment of the Premier League, Dalot may not be considered as the ideal man to be given the job on the left side.

It could well be an option Mourinho turns to on occasion though, with the need to rest whoever does start the new season as United's first-choice number three presenting further opportunities to get Dalot into the starting XI.


4-2-3-1


Man Utd possible formation

It is not a formation Mourinho used over the final two months of United's season, but the 4-2-3-1 has served him well at times during his Old Trafford spell.

On the face of it, the 4-3-3 should allow key man Pogba to revel most, especially now that he has Fred playing a similar role to the one which Arturo Vidal filled so well in the Frenchman's time at Juventus.

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But if there are teething issues with that shape, then the 4-2-3-1 may come back in with Pogba starting from a higher position.

It is a system Fred has played on plenty of occasions with Shakhtar Donetsk, with the Brazilian adding a new dimension from the base of midfield, while it would also open up the possibility of featuring an extra forward in a club which is overflowing with options in the attacking department.

With an extra man sitting in the centre of the park, that might also open the way up for the two full-backs to get forward more often. And that is something Dalot loves to do whichever side of the field he starts on.

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