In hindsight there was something quite indicative about Diogo Dalot’s comments when he was handed the surreal task of gunning down his parent club last month.
On the back of supporters storming Old Trafford with the latest of their eye-catching protests against Glazer family ownership, Manchester United are set to continue a similar, symbolic charge towards the Europa League final when they visit the Italian capital tomorrow night.
Nothing can be taken for granted, of course, but a four-goal cushion on Roma means it would take a comeback or collapse of monumental proportions to stop Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and his squad, from booking flights to the Polish city of Gdansk ahead of the May 26 showpiece.
Along the way, United have encountered a number of familiar faces.
Before that, and their first-leg meeting seven days ago, Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad) and the charismatic Sweden frontman Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan) lined up to challenge United – but they ultimately failed in their bid to derail their former club’s quest for a first piece of silverware with Solskjaer at the helm.
Bizarrely, in that Premier League rules offer quite the contrast, that double-legged affair with AC Milan saw Dalot take on his parent club – not once, but twice, as the Portuguese made rare appearances for the Italian side both at Old Trafford and the San Siro.
Upon doing so, Dalot told The Athletic: “I left something good there. I’m talking about the relationships I have with people. The proof is after seven or eight months we still have the connection and that’s a very good feeling for me.”
But could that past-tense feeling subsequently be replicated in the future?
Having started just 10 games in Serie A this campaign, it looks for all the world as though Dalot won’t remain at his temporary Italian home beyond the summer.
Speculation over his future is rife, but an imminent return to Old Trafford could, in fact, help United to solve one of their transfer conundrums, without having to splash out a single penny.
There is no doubt that Aaron Wan-Bissaka is THE first choice for Solskjaer at right-back and will remain so.
Indeed, the former Crystal Palace defender has played more minutes than any other United player this season – bar Harry Maguire and Portuguese sensation Bruno Fernandes.
That undoubtedly highlights just how highly Wan-Bissaka is regarded, but it also suggests the club are not currently blessed with back-up options in that department, certainly not to the same level as they are at left-back.
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United are aiming to confirm their place in the Europa League final as they travel to Italy for the semi-final second-leg against Roma.
The Reds notched up a stunning 6-2 first-leg victory to almost guarantee their passage to the final in Gdansk on May 26.
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With that in mind, United would be well-served to keep hold of Dalot beyond the summer window.
At 22, there is scope for him to develop further, while exposure – however much or little – to another one of the top European leagues will have only aided his progression, too.
United have yet to see a return on the €22million fee they paid former club Porto back in the summer of 2018.
However, if they are to surpass Manchester City as the top dogs in the Premier League once again, they will need a back-up squad capable of mixing it with the fringe players that Pep Guardiola has at his disposal.
Keeping hold of a much-improved Dalot could go a long way to helping them do that.