Amad Diallo on the ball for Atalanta.

Everything you need to know about new United recruit Amad Diallo

New Manchester United recruit Amad Diallo didn’t need long to impress on his debut in senior football. In fact, it took him just six minutes to find the back of the net.

The youngster had been introduced in the final stages of Atalanta’s Serie A victory over Udinese in October 2019, when he picked up the ball midway inside the opposition half, drove forward and then smashed in an effort from outside the area. Not a bad way to introduce yourself!

It certainly made the world’s top clubs - including United - sit up and take notice. Our scouts had long been aware of the winger’s talent, having tracked his development for a number of years. Indeed, they were so impressed with Diallo’s skill, pace and mentality, securing his services became an objective.
Amad Diallo celebrates after scoring on his first-team debut for Atalanta.
Diallo scored just six minutes into his senior Atalanta career.
That the teenager had played just 21 minutes of senior football during his fledgling career was no barrier, as the Reds moved in October 2020 to agree a transfer with Atalanta, subject to a medical, personal terms and a work permit.

Now, three months after the initial deal was announced, Diallo is officially a United player, following confirmation that his signing his been finalised.

The attacker was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on 11 July 2002, in the same month Rio Ferdinand joined the Reds from Leeds United. Diallo moved to Italy as a child, where his football journey began.
Settling in the northern Emilia-Romagna region, Diallo moved to Bibbiano and soon joined local amateur club Boca Barco. It quickly became evident to all those who witnessed the youngster’s talent that he was destined for great things and, after trials with Juventus, AC Milan and Internazionale, Diallo opted to sign for Atalanta at the age of 13.

Almost immediately, the wide-man was moved to an older age group where he continued to shine as he progressed through the various youth ranks. By 16, Diallo was already training with the senior squad and was even compared to Barcelona legend Lionel Messi by Atalanta captain Papu Gomez.

“There are defenders in the first team that sometimes cannot stop him,”
said Gomez.
“To stop him in training, we have to kick him! He plays like Messi.”
Diallo likes to operate on either flank and always looks to make things happen. Rapid, possessing great balance and quick feet, the Ivorian causes all kinds of problems for opposition defenders.

Of course, that was something he demonstrated on his first-team debut. By netting in the 7-1 victory over Udinese, he became the youngest player to score in their first Serie A game, at just 17 years and 109 days. In doing so, Diallo also became the first player born in 2002 to bag a goal in Italy's top flight.

He went on to play two more games for Atalanta in a 2019/20 season blighted by the coronavirus pandemic, as rumours circulated that Europe’s premier clubs were about to move for the youngster.

At 5ft 8in, Diallo’s strength on the ball stood out, as well as those bulldozing runs. While predominantly a right-winger, the attacker can operate on the opposite flank and through the middle.
Amad Diallo in action against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League
Amad made his Champions League debut in November's 1-1 draw with FC Midtjylland.
By the time Diallo next featured for Atalanta, his transfer to United had already been confirmed. He played twice for the Bergamo-based outfit in 2020/21 and made his Champions League bow in a 1-1 draw with Midtjylland.

“[I’m] very excited about bringing him in,”
 said Solskjaer, ahead of the Ivorian's January arrival.
“He's shown his qualities a few times but he has to learn that playing in England is a different type of football, so we'll give him time to develop.”


In the same month, Diallo was selected among UEFA’s ’50 for the future’, where European football’s governing body selected a half century of players aged between 16 and 21 who we should look out for in 2021.

Meanwhile, United’s new signing was putting the final touches to his move from the Gewiss Stadium to Old Trafford. Welcome to Manchester, Amad.

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