Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot has outlined how he is improving under head coach Stefano Pioli during his loan spell with AC Milan.
Portuguese full-back Dalot was sent to the San Siro on a season-long loan with his opportunities at United expected to be limited.
And the 21-year-old is enjoying his time with Milan, who are the surprise early pacesetters in Serie A ahead of Inter Milan and Juventus.
Dalot has only played 20 minutes in the Italian top flight, but has been ever present in the Europa League, having started and finished all five of Milan’s games so far in the competition.
And he says he is benefiting from a tactical education under his boss Pioli.
Tom Rogić et al. playing a game of football: DiogoDalot shoots during AC Milan’s win over Celtic© AFP via Getty Images DiogoDalot shoots during AC Milan’s win over Celtic
“It’s fantastic to learn the tactics of the game here in Italy,” he said in quotes reported by the Manchester Evening News.
“Having a coach close to the player always trying to teach and explain is great. Our relationship is not just manager-players. This helps me to improve.”
Dalot was speaking ahead of Milan’s win over Celtic on Thursday, which ensured qualification from Group H to the knockout stages.
But he is targeting the Champions League with the Rossoneri two points clear at the top of Serie A ahead of their game away to Sampdoria on Sunday night.
Stefano Pioli standing in front of a fence: Stefano Pioli has led Milan to the top of Serie A and Europa League knockout qualification© MATTEO BAZZI/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock Stefano Pioli has led Milan to the top of Serie A and Europa League knockout qualification
“We have a very good philosophy in terms of daily work at this club,” Dalot added. “We think game by game, then we will shift our attention to the next game. This is the right mindset, and with it we can achieve great things this season.
“Milan is a big club, they are known for playing at the highest level of football, the Champions League, it’s a goal for us.
“Hopefully, with the right attitude, we can put Milan back to the top of Europe.”
Dalot, who was brought to United by Jose Mourinho in 2018, said he was coping well to life in Italy, which he said was similar to his native Portugal.
“It’s been a great few months in terms of adaptation,” Dalot said before Milan’s win over Celtic on Thursday night.
“Italy is similar to Portugal. The club is amazing, I’m happy to be here.
“I come every day with desire to train and play. The team-mates help me with the language and adapting to the city.
“I’ve been trying to adapt quickly, I’m learning Italian. The players, staff and everyone else at the club have been very helpful to me.”