Diogo Dalot is relishing the challenge of competing with Aaron Wan-Bissaka for a starting berth after the Manchester United right-back returned from injury.
Life after swapping Porto for Old Trafford last year was disrupted by injury and the 20-year-old’s start to the 2019-20 campaign has been hampered by a hip issue.
Dalot went to China as part of his rehabilitation and made his first appearance of the season in Thursday’s 1-0 against Astana in United’s Europa League opener.
“It was our goal to start winning, it’s important for us,” the Portuguese said.
“I think we did an OK performance with a lot of kids, a lot of energy and it was very good to get my first minutes of the season.
“It was a tough pre-season, very hard. Unfortunately I got injured but now I am back fit and hopefully I can do a lot this season.”
Dalot made 23 appearances during his first season at United and faces an arguably tougher battle for minutes this term after the big-money summer acquisition of Wan-Bissaka.
Asked if he is looking forward to the competition and the challenge, he said: “Yeah of course. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t like that.
“I like competition, I like to keep pushing hard and I think I’ll be ready.”
The cup competitions could well provide Dalot’s best chance to impress in the early months of the season and the defender is determined to lift the Europa League at the end of the campaign, even if it is not where United want to be.
“Like I said in the preview of this competition, I think this club is so much more than the Europa League,” he added.
“But it is what it is, we need to be here, we need to play it and we need to win it. And that’s our goal.
“Win this competition so we can give one more trophy to the club.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.