A number of Manchester United players have markedly improved under Erik ten Hag, but among the defenders, there have been no two bigger beneficiaries than Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot.
Both players endured horrific campaigns under Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer and Ralf Rangnick last term, with many viewing the right back position as an area in need of two quality incomings ahead of Ten Hag’s first season at the helm.
But Diogo Dalot quickly established himself as first choice at Old Trafford, putting in a series of impressive performances that EVEN saw him oust Joao Cancelo from the starting eleven for Portugal during the Qatar World Cup.
His form may have trailed off in the second half of the season, but Ten Hag has seen enough in the former FC Porto player to green-light his new five-year contract.
Wan-Bissaka took a while longer to settle under the new manager, playing just four minutes of Premier League football before the domestic season was put on hold for the World Cup.
Since then, the former Crystal Palace man has established himself as a key player for Ten Hag, starting the vast majority of United’s Premier League matches since breaking into the team in December.
His contribution to the attack, along with his positioning in and out of possession, have taken great strides.
Wan-Bissaka looked nailed on for an Old Trafford departure back in January and, even after his lengthy run in the team, Man United have continued to be linked with other right backs, with the assumption being that the 25-year-old would be moved on in the summer.
But now, according to Paul Hirst of The Times, Ten Hag has decided that he is happy with his fullback options and will persist with both players next season.
That may come as a blow to Jeremie Frimpong, who has been linked with a switch to United for a number of months and was thought to be keen on a move back to England.
For Manchester United, however, the development of Wan-Bissaka and Dalot this season is nothing but a positive.
Not only has it added to the body of proof behind Erik ten Hag’s coaching credentials, it also frees up some much-needed funds to strengthen key positions in the Red Devils’ squad.
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