With Manchester United rubberstamping a four-and-a-half-year deal for Amad Diallo, thoughts turn to what kind of player they have signed, and the impact the promising youngster can have on his long-awaited arrival at Old Trafford.
Diallo has made just five first-team appearances for Atalanta, but United have seen enough talent and potential to spend £37.2m to bring him to Old Trafford, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer declaring they have secured a top prospect.
“As a club, we have followed Amad for a number of years and, having watched him myself, I believe he is one of the most exciting young prospects in the game,” Solskjaer said.
“Manchester United has such a proud history of developing young players and everything is in place to enable Amad to reach his potential here.
“It will take time for him to adapt, but his speed, vision and fantastic dribbling ability will stand him in good stead to make the transition. He is a player with all of the raw attributes that are needed to be an important player for Manchester United in the years to come.”
So who have Manchester United signed, what kind of player can fans expect to see, and when will he be able to join his new team-mates? Here’s all you need to know about Amad Diallo…
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Who is Amad Diallo?
Diallo, 18, was born in the Ivory Coast, before moving to Italy around the age of 10, joining Atalanta in 2015.
He made his debut for Atalanta last season, becoming the youngest player – at 17 years and 109 days old – to score on his Serie A debut in their 7-1 thrashing of Udinese.
As a result, the Ivorian travelled with the Atalanta squad to Lisbon for their Champions League quarter-final defeat to Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
Diallo has featured in just four league games for Atalanta, but the player has impressed in training, so much so that Papu Gomez recently likened him to a certain Lionel Messi.
“There are defenders in the first team that sometimes cannot stop him. To stop him in training, we have to kick him! He plays like Messi,” said Atalanta’s captain.
What are Man Utd getting in Diallo?
Gabrielle Marcotti of ESPN on the Transfer Talk podcast:
“He’s a bright, very tricky, very confident winger. He’s also still very young, and very raw. He’s had little first-team action, and you can file him away with someone like Facundo Pellistri, who can maybe contribute down the road, and be part of United’s future.
“Does this mean Jadon Sancho is a no-go for United now? No, I don’t think so. Sancho is in the proven superstar category, approaching the peak of his career. Diallo is still a talented youngster, but has only played a handful of games. I don’t think it impacts Sancho at all.
“If Diallo comes in and does well, you may look at the number of bodies you have in that category, with Rashford, Martial, Greenwood, James, Lingard, Mata and Diallo, and obviously they will have to move some players out at some point.
“But United’s attitude will be: we don’t expect Diallo to start, let’s help him through and see what we have in six, 12 months’ time. If he can play earlier, great, but let’s not rush it.”
‘Diallo may be training with United by next week’
Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth:
“United are now preparing for the imminent arrival of Amad Diallo as they await final clearance on his move to Old Trafford.
“The teenager’s Governing Body Exemption paperwork has been signed off by The FA with the finishing touches now being applied to his registration documents as authorities continue to process his visa.
“Diallo flew into Rome this week as part of the visa procedure and is now waiting for officials at the Ivory Coast embassy to rubberstamp his switch to United.
“United announced they had signed the 18-year-old winger on the final day of last summer’s transfer window and are hopeful Diallo might be able to begin training with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad at Carrington as early as next week.”
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