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Dalot intending to spend 'many, many years' at Man Utd after being set Neville challenge

18:58 GMT+3 25/02/2019
Diogo Dalot Manchester United 2018-19
The 19-year-old was told by former boss Jose Mourinho that he is capable of emulating a fellow full-back and the Portuguese is hoping to stick around

Diogo Dalot is looking to spend “many, many years” at Manchester United having previously been told by Jose Mourinho that he is capable of emulating Gary Neville at Old Trafford.

The 19-year-old defender was snapped up by a fellow Portuguese for £19 million ($25m) in the summer of 2018.

He was considered to be one for the future but has played a prominent role in the present after taking in 11 appearances on the back of an injury-hit start to his spell in England.

The youngster admits that he is still on a steep learning curve in new surroundings, but is intending to stick around and become a long-serving member of the Red Devils’ squad.

Dalot told Sky Sports: “It's a massive learning curve. I think the first part of the season was tough because I had injuries, and I only started playing and training with full fitness from December on.

“This year was a learning year for me, and I will keep learning more until the end of the season. [I've learned] more mentally to be ready for this kind of situation, to get an injury, to not play, to start getting fit again. For me, to learn that was a big achievement, and I think I am doing pretty well.

“I'm enjoying it. I came to this club and knew it would be difficult for me, I have good players in my position and I can learn a lot from them. I think I can have the opportunity to play many, many years here.”

Dalot is among those looking to thrive at United under the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with a former favourite having been brought back to the club as Mourinho’s successor in December.

“The biggest difference was the atmosphere we had inside the locker room,” said Dalot.

“I think the tactical parts too, the game we are playing, we play more to the forward part, so I think we changed a couple things and hopefully we can still change a little bit more because we are not perfect.

“It wasn't wrong, but I think when you change coach there is something which changes for itself, it's not something about the coach, something [you think]: 'We changed the manager, OK, now we need to change ourselves, too.' I think we changed for the better when we get the results we've got.”

Dalot has impressed when called upon by Solskjaer and is determined to prove Mourinho right after previously been likened to an iconic full-back of United’s past.

He said of the Neville comparisons: “[It] brings responsibility, but I wouldn't accept it if I couldn't be at the top, and for me, it's a pleasure being compared to those types of players.

“They are words of Mourinho, I need to build my own history here and that's to always keep improving, and hopefully I can be here for many years to play for United.”