What Cristiano Ronaldo said about how Man Utd defender Diogo Dalot can improve amid excellent run of form

Diogo Dalot has been one of Manchester United's best performers during a recent uptick in form.
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Cristiano Ronaldo predicted that Portuguese compatriot Diogo Dalot would be a success at Manchester United despite early 'doubts', according to Rio Ferdinand.

The right-back has been one of the standout performers in an excellent recent run of form at United. Sunday's 2-1 win at Aston Villa was their fourth in a row - the first time this season they've gone on such a run - and Erik ten Hag's side have put themselves right into the running for a Champions League place.

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Dalot has been ever-present in the United team during that run, completing 90 minutes in all four games. The 24-year-old has been excellent throughout and stood out again at Villa Park, defending with the composure of teammate Aaron Wan-Bissaka and crossing brilliantly for Scott McTominay's late winner.

It's been a great period for Dalot who has made the right-back spot his own after spending much of last season jostling for position with Wan-Bissaka. Ferdinand admits he had early doubts about the defender but was urged to be patient.

“Dalot needs a special mention," Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube show. "He's someone I doubted early on. I spoke to Cristiano and said 'is he really going to be good?', and he said 'Rio he works, he works hard, he'll make himself better, he'll improve'. He's obviously seen that behind the scenes.

"I spoke to Darren Fletcher, I saw him at the training ground the other day, I said he's really impressed me, he was saying 'listen, he's a worker, he is going to make himself the player he needs to be'.

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"I still think defensively he needs to work a little bit, but yesterday [Sunday] he was very good, and with the ball for that cross, if we have players running onto those crosses we will score more goals."

Dalot's recent run of form is likely to mean he keeps his place in the United team for the remainder of the season, at which point Wan-Bissaka could be sold. The former Crystal Palace man has attracted plenty of Premier League interest and is one of few who could bring some money into the club.

United are expected to bring a new right-back this summer, with last summer's interest in Bayer Leverkusen's Jeremie Frimpong remaining amid an excellent campaign in the Bundesliga. Dalot is expected to continue fighting for his place regardless.