Diogo Dalot has been one of the biggest winners since Ralf Rangnick stepped into the Manchester United hotseat on an interim basis when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked.
Any change in manager results in fresh thinking, alterations and a potential shift in the pecking order.
Either side of his loan spell at AC Milan last season, the Portuguese – signed by Jose Mourinho – was seldom picked by Solskjaer and had to jet out to Italy to prove his undoubted worth.
And that development, initially, went unnoticed.
Providing better service and a more threatening attacking output than Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 22-year-old Dalot was the natural pick for Rangnick as he looked for United to take on board his trademark 4-2-2-2 formation.
While the innovative German performed a sharp U-turn on his tactics board, flavor of the month Dalot was firmly in credit and Wan-Bissaka has, ultimately, been made to play second fiddle as a result.
His time should come again, but United might be better served coupling that with a thought out ‘gamble’ that can result in a brighter future for Wan-Bissaka as both an individual and team player.
Comparisons between the former Crystal Palace man and Liverpool starlet Trent Alexander-Arnold have faded into the back-drop and United might, eventually, have to concede defeat in that particular argument.
Above anything, though, that comes down to vast changes in a position that is rapidly taking center stage.
Such is the modern way, added onus has been put on full-backs to provide goals, assists and key passes.
With due respect to Wan-Bissaka, those requirements are not his forte, but he does offer other qualities that might, in turn, see him reassigned to centre-back.
In between bolstering their attacking options with Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, key figures upstairs settled on Raphael Varane as a long-term partner for £80million captain Harry Maguire during the summer window.
Amid on-field struggles this season, Maguire is no longer a guaranteed starter and there is a clamoring for United to take him out of the firing line. Waiting in the wings are Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and, back in contention after an injury nightmare, Phil Jones. That’s in the event Maguire calls come to pass.
Such is the reward on offer for Champions League qualification, financial or otherwise, risk-taking will not be top of the agenda for United right now.
However, after splashing out £50million on Wan-Bissaka two years ago, United have yet to get their money’s worth for him – although that doesn’t mean he should be completely cast aside.
Rapid changes to what is required from the modern full-back suggest his pace, strength and lauded defending one on one would allow the Londoner to shine brighter at the heart of the back-line.
Although skeptics would argue Maguire is doing his best to prove this theory wrong, operating alongside Varane is, perhaps, one of the most comfortable places to be as a United player.
Do you think Wan-Bissaka would work at centre-back? Have your say in the comments section below.
One or two injury concerns aside, the World Cup winner has underlined his class in five months at Old Trafford – and pairing him with someone who boasts such physical prowess might allow him to step things up another gear. At the very least, it’s something worth considering and taking a closer look at beyond closed doors.
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