Amad: Nothing is impossible

Friday 24 March 2023 07:00

Amad is well on course to achieve his personal target for the season as there is general acknowledgement that his loan move to Sunderland has been an outstanding success.

The Manchester United youngster scored his ninth goal of the Championship campaign when calmly converting a penalty after being fouled, to earn a 1-1 draw with Luton Town last weekend. 

He told us in an exclusive interview at the Academy of Light recently that he was aiming for double figures this term and is refusing to give up on his other immediate aim, getting the Black Cats into the Premier League, with the Wearsiders not yet out of the play-off hunt.

From an individual perspective, the 20-year-old has grown, in many respects, since taking up the opportunity to test himself in one of the most competitive leagues in Europe. Not only does he look bigger physically but he believes he has matured and learned so much from a club, manager and supporters who have taken him under their wing.

Watch some of Amad's nine goals in the Championship, courtesy of Sunderland's official channels.

Amad feels he was unable to show his true colours in last term's loan, at Rangers, but his time in the north east has allowed him to flourish, not only showcasing his obvious natural skills but becoming a vital component of an attacking team under Tony Mowbray. The supporters quickly took to the Ivory Coast international, which is never a simple task for any loanee, and some of his play has been mesmerising.

"Since I’ve been here, I’ve played in all the games and so I have felt I have more confidence. The manager and all the staff are confident in me and I think that this will help me a lot for next year," he told MUTV. "I hope that next year will be a good season for me.

“So, when a player goes on loan, the first thing is to get lots of playing minutes, and, yes, once you get lots of minutes and start playing lots, you grow straight away. Your confidence increases, and I think that, since I have been here, at the beginning I didn’t play much, but then I started playing regularly and, from there, it all started.

"And, like I said before, I think this loan spell will help me for next season because it has helped me mature, and I have grown lots, on a mental level as well, and feel I have the ability to show this next season." 

Amad has done some growing in terms of his physique. Watching him train at close quarters at the Black Cats' base, he looked more muscular and robust, a prerequisite when dealing with some of the uncompromising challenges a player of his ilk faces in England's second tier. A spell of scoring in three successive games towards the end of last year highlighted how well he has adapted and the Championship's Young Player of the Month award was no more than he deserved in December.

"When I arrived at Manchester United, I was a bit thin," he recalled. "But, yes, now I do lots in the gym, even when I’m at home and I haven’t much to do. I think that it is needed for playing here in England because you need to do everything you can to be able to react to playing in this league.

"We’ve faced many teams in the Championship that had very physical players but I think the game doesn’t always depend on the physicality because I think, if you have the technical ability and if you have the ability to play fast, your physicality is less important. But yes, like I said before, it is important to have muscles to play against defenders. However, if you are intelligent players that can make the difference, then it’s needed less.

"I was even the Young Player of the Month [for December]. It was a very great feeling for me. I hope to continue in this and play very good this season.”

Amad recalled by Ivory Coast


Our on-loan winger has received an international call-up for the March games.

Amad has forged a sparkling on-field relationship with Patrick Roberts on the right-hand side of Sunderland's enterprising attack, and he is quick to pay tribute to the club for their support in furthering his footballing education.

Mowbray's men are in 11th spot, seven points off a play-off place, as Amad concentrates on representing Ivory Coast for the first time since 2021 during this international break. A Friday-night encounter with runaway leaders Burnley is next on the team's agenda on the final day of this month.

"I know it's very hard this season," admitted the winger. "It's a difficult league but I think we have great players in the team to make the difference in the games.

"We have many players who are good in the team. When I play with Patrick Roberts, I have much good feeling with him on the pitch. The fans are very good. They support us every game, when you play at home and away, and they give you confidence and energy. This is important for us.

"The club has a big history. It was in the Premier League before and I hope it goes to the Premier League next season. The staff, the club, the players all have a lot of confidence in me and I do my best on the pitch to repay the confidence from the club.

Amad picks up Championship award


The United loanee's outstanding performances for Sunderland have been recognised.

"My objective here at the start of the season was to score 10 goals," he revealed. "Now I want to score more goals. But I have another objective which is to take this team into the Premier League because I know it will be difficult, but I always tell myself nothing is impossible.”

Amad was taken out of the firing line for a couple of games recently by experienced manager Mowbray, who could detect the relentless run of fixtures was threatening to lead to an injury for the fatigued youngster. The taxing schedule was something the player acknowledged, although he was just as keen to stress it was a challenge he wanted to overcome.

“It’s difficult, it’s not easy when you play so many games," he admitted. "Sometimes, you are tired, yeah, but I come here for playing and not for an excuse, though.”

The impactful return against in-form Luton showed the benefits of careful management and determination on Amad's part to meet those targets he set when joining the north-east side at the end of August.

Like he says, nothing is impossible. Let's see what the remainder of 2022/23 has in store for the hugely talented Red.