Why Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot has pulled out of Portugal’s international squad
The full-back withdrew after speaking to manager Roberto Martinez.
Reports that Dalot had withdrawn from Portugal’s squad for games against Liechtenstein and Iceland had United fans fearing yet another defender had picked up a problem.
But, fortunately, the 24-year-old is fit and would normally be available for selection, but he asked manager Roberto Martinez if he could withdraw from the squad as his girlfriend is expected to give birth imminently.
A statement from the Portuguese football association said: ‘Joao Mario will make his debut in the national team after being called up this afternoon to replace Diogo Dalot.
‘The Manchester United defender was released from the national team squad for personal reasons after speaking with national coach Roberto Martinez.’
Fabrizio Romano has now confirmed that Dalot is expecting his first child in the next few days and asked to withdraw from the squad.
He should be fit and available to continue playing for United after the international break, with the Red Devils next in action against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday 26 November.
Unfortunately for United, their injury list has grown even longer following their 1-0 win over Luton with both Christian Eriksen and Rasmus Hojlund sidelined.
United released a statement on Monday evening confirming that Eriksen had suffered a knee injury and would be out for around a month, while Hojlund has a muscle strain and faces a race to get back before the end of this month.
Erik ten Hag’s side have a very difficult run of games after the international break, with the trip to Everton followed by a must-win Champions League tie away at Galatasaray.
After that, United then travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle before hosting Chelsea and Bournemouth, and then have another massive European night against Bayern Munich.
In addition to their injury crisis at the back, United are also without midfielder Casemiro – who will not return until the new year – while Sofyan Amrabat has struggled for form and fitness.
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