Injured Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot has been having treatment at Chinese club Shanghai SIPG under a Brazilian physio known as the “Miracle Doctor”.
The 20-year-old Portuguese right-back is yet to feature this season and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said last month that he was out until after the current international break.
What Solskjaer did not say is that Dalot, a $25 million capture in June 2018 from Porto, was suffering with a hip problem and had gone to see Shanghai’s physio Eduardo Santos.
Dalot landed in Shanghai on August 29 and spent 10 days with the Chinese champions, the club said, publishing a photo of the defender at their training ground.
Dalot, who could be moved to a more advanced role on United’s right after the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, may now be in contention for a Premier League start this month.
Then-United manager Jose Mourinho called Dalot the best young full-back in Europe after signing him last summer.
Santos was dubbed “Miracle Doctor” by French media in 2015 after getting defender David Luiz – then at Paris Saint-Germain – fit in just a few days after a serious hamstring tear.
Luiz had contacted his fellow Brazilian, then employed by Zenit St. Petersburg, and flew off to Russia for treatment.
French international Eliaquim Mangala, former Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele and Colombian striker Radamel Falcao have all sought Santos’s help in recent years.
There have been murmurs from experts querying how he can get players back into action so quickly, but Santos told AFP in an interview last year: “What we do is not a miracle.
“I do science, and of course the results that I have are really, really good.”
Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez has insisted he has no regrets about his move to Old Trafford.
The 30-year-old, who has joined Inter Milan on loan for the rest of the season, scored just five goals in 45 appearances for United after arriving as their highest-paid player from Arsenal in January 2018.
The Chilean, earning a reported £400,000 a week, came in for heavy criticism, but told BBC Sport he remains glad he made the move.
“I’m very happy I went to Manchester United,” Sanchez said. “I’ve always said that. It’s the club that has won the most in England.
“When I went to Arsenal it was fantastic – I was happy there – but United were growing at the time, they were buying players to win something.
“I wanted to join them and win everything. I don’t regret going there.”
Sanchez scored 80 goals in 166 games for Arsenal after signing for £30million from Barcelona in July 2014, but suffered a major slump in form after joining United.
He scored two Premier League goals in 27 appearances and made only 31 starts out of a possible 77 for the club.
“I’ve always said to my friends I want to play. If they (United) would let me play I’ll do my best,” Sanchez added.
“Sometimes I’d play 60 minutes then I wouldn’t play the next game and I didn’t know why.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lamented a lack of cutting edge against Southampton after Manchester United once again fell short.
Daniel James’ stunning opener had the visitors dreaming of a first away win since March’s jaw-dropping Champions League triumph at Paris St Germain.
But United endured an eighth successive winless match on the road as a towering Jan Vestergaard header made it 1-1 and Solskjaer’s side failed to capitalise on Kevin Danso’s second-half sending-off.
They had already wasted a number of chances after taking the lead, leaving them heading into the international break with a mere five points.
“We’ve dominated the last three games and know we are on the right track, getting used to that way of playing,” Solskjaer said, with the opening-day thrashing of Chelsea followed by a draw at Wolves and home loss to Crystal Palace.
“In the last three games they haven’t given many points in return, but we’re getting better and better playing this way. It’s a young team that will get used to it.
“But today was a matter of we’ve just got the game where we wanted, we were winning 1-0, that’s when you can get that counter-attacking football, be more clinical, ruthless when we go forward.
“But it wasn’t to be, but we just gave them enough encouragement to stay in the game.
“I don’t know how many shots we’ve had today and in the last game against Palace but it’s a matter of taking the chances and that’s what football s all about, getting it inside the posts.
“But we’ll get there, we’re working on it, and so delighted for Dan with his strike again, he’s had a fantastic impact since he’s come and he can give us quality.”
James was impressive yet again for United, taking his Premier League tally to three goals in four games – as many goals as Alexis Sanchez could manage in 19 miserable months.
“He’s an example for everyone in football,” Solskjaer said of the Wales international. “Had his period on loan, didn’t get games. Now scoring goals and he’s our top scorer and that comes through his personality, his habits.
“He’s humble, works hard, and he knows he can improve, and today he could have scored one or two more and we’ll work with him to get his quality even higher and better and then we’ll have a top, top player.”
United were without starters Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw through injury while Paul Pogba was seen limping out of the ground after Solskjaer revealed he “got a bad knock on his ankle”.
Despite an underwhelming display, Solskjaer backed the France midfielder to live up to the lofty expectations placed on him and insisted he will not be leaving the club despite continued speculation linking him with Real Madrid.
“I think we as a team after about half an hour started giving sloppy balls away and Paul was one of them,” he said.
“He wasn’t any different to anyone else, we as a team didn’t play well but in the last 20 minutes or half an hour he did create loads for us going forward.
“Everyone expects everything from him every game, he has to defend, he has to attack, he has to win headers, he has to dribble past people, he has to make passes. That’s just Paul and he’ll thrive on that.
“Paul Pogba will be playing for us.”
Meanwhile, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was proud of his players’ effort having followed up the wins at Brighton and Fulham in the cup with a hard-earned point.
“Absolutely pleased and very proud of my team – and not only my team but the whole stadium and the crowd and how they pushed us in the end and how they energised us,” he said.
“It was very important after this really tough week with the game on Tuesday, a third game in a week and injuries and the red card, and in the end it was only about the character and mentality and the guys showed a lot of it.
“They deserved to get this point and we are happy.”