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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“[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.