What to Expect from Diallo at Manchester United?

    15 Jan 2021 | Premier League | Opinion
    What to Expect from Diallo at Manchester United?

    At the time of writing, there has not been a great deal of movement in the transfer market around the major European leagues.

    However, Manchester United have made a signing as they completed the deal to bring Amad Diallo to Old Trafford.

    This is a transfer that has been going on in the background for some time and it was not a surprise to see the move completed in the January transfer window for a fee of £19 million.

    The 18-year-old right winger joins from Atalanta on a five year deal and the transfer fee could rise to could rise to £37.2 million depending on appearances and performance.

    This is an interesting signing because it is not as if Diallo burst onto the scene at Atalanta, setting Serie A alight. In fact, the Ivorian has only played 4 times for Atalanta in Serie A, with each appearance coming from the substitutes bench.

    He scored a tremendous goal on his debut for the club against Udinese in October 2019 but it was not enough to earn him more time on the pitch at the Gewiss Stadium.

    So, what is it that has persuaded Manchester United to spend money on Diallo?

    He started his playing career as a 12 year old at Boca Barco, a small amateur Italian club named after the famous Boca Juniors of Argentina. Having participated in a Christmas football tournament he was spotted by the former Fiorentina, AC Milan and Napoli goalkeeper, Giovanni Galli.

    Working for Lucchese in the third division, Galli invited Diallo for a trial with the club and It quickly became apparent he was too good to be playing in the third level of Italian football.

    Speaking about Diallo and his brother’s short time at Lucchese, Galli said, “I quickly saw they were simply too good for us. Amad played with bigger boys and drove them insane with his dribbling.

    Therefore, I made a few calls to Serie A clubs in order to tell them about the guys. At Atalanta, I spoke to the sporting director Gabriele Zamagna, and they duly signed Amad.”

    Diallo went on to become the star of the Under-15 team at Atalanta, leading them to the championship title despite being only 13 years of age.

    He went on to represent the Under-19 team and tasted more success, helping them win the Primavera championship title.

    Having impressed both the senior management and players in training with the first team, Diallo made his Serie A debut against Udinese in 2019 and performed well on his Champions League debut against Midtjylland in 2020.

    There is no doubt Diallo has the speed and technique to succeed at the highest level. The only issue may come in terms of physicality and Diallo is currently not the strongest player, which is something both he and Manchester United will need work on over the coming years.

    Fans of the Red Devils will remember a similar signing in 2003, when a young man called Cristiano Ronaldo joined the club from Sporting Lisbon.

    If Diallo goes on to become even half the player of the Portuguese, Manchester United have an exciting talent on their hands.

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