Jose Mourinho vows to continue ‘process of adaptation’ for Diogo Dalot

Diogo Dalot will have to wait for his Old Trafford bow as Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho intends to ease the highly-rated teenager into the fold.

Despite only making a handful of senior appearances for Porto, the 19-year-old was attracting serious summer interest from a number of top teams across Europe.

United swooped to bring in Dalot on a five-year deal and, having overcome a knee injury, the right-back made his first-team debut on Wednesday against Young Boys in the Champions League.

It was an assured display from Dalot in Switzerland, but Mourinho will not take any risks with the talented full-back when Wolves visit on Saturday.

“I want him in this process of adaptation, I want him to play totally fresh, so he’s not playing tomorrow,” the United boss said.

“He plays Tuesday again (against Derby in the Carabao Cup).

“I want him to play totally fresh. To play for Manchester United is difficult enough for a kid of 19 years old coming from another country and after an important injury and surgery.

“He doesn’t need to face more difficulties because of accumulation of matches.

“He played 90 minutes, Champions League, difficult pitch, recovered totally and Tuesday he plays again.

“But I think he showed for the ones that don’t know him very, very well, he showed that he is not a player to be here just on formation.

“He is a player to be here for competition for positions. He’s a very good player.”

United captain Antonio Valencia is set to replace Dalot in the starting line-up, having been rested for the 3-0 win in Bern due to concerns over the impact of the synthetic surface.

Jesse Lingard, another rested for the Young Boys trip, and Phil Jones, out recently with a hamstring complaint, are also back in contention for a match that Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo are not ready for.

Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic are suspended as United look to extend a three-match winning streak that has coincided with a settled centre-back partnership of Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling.

“I think the team as a team is resolving the defensive problems better than before,” Mourinho said when asked about the duo.

“I don’t want to say it was (Eric) Bailly or (Phil) Jones and it is now Smalling or Lindelof.

“I think the team is more compact, is more solid.

“The spirit, the cooperation, the empathy, the communication – all of that improves in the team and good results bring confidence and I think we are improving as a team.

“I don’t want to say our improvement has the name of Chris or Victor. The team is playing better and of course they are part of the team that played well in these matches.”

But the pair have clearly helped solidify things as United bounced back from defeats to Brighton and Tottenham – a 3-0 loss that represented the heaviest home defeat of Mourinho’s managerial career.

United return to action at Old Trafford for the first time since then when Wolves visit on Saturday.

The promoted side’s manager Nuno Espirito Santo was part of Mourinho’s squad when Porto won the Champions League in 2004, while the United manager’s agent Jorge Mendes is playing a noteworthy role in a project that has a distinct Portuguese flavour.

Asked if he had spoken to Mendes about Wolves, Mourinho said: “No, I don’t speak with him for quite a long time, to be honest.

“But when we speak we don’t speak about my job or his job. He’s my agent and that’s it.

“But I think the work in Wolves is good because it’s not just about the Portuguese influence – Portuguese manager, staff and players – it is also about getting the right ones and I think they got good young players and they got also good experienced, stable players.

“So, they got this season, the Portuguese national team goalkeeper, they got (Joao) Moutinho, which is one of the players of the 100 caps club.

“Big stability in the team. The young ones are young boys with good potential and you can see the work of the coaching staff and the team is a really, really good team.”

- Press Association

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