Whenever Amad Diallo makes his Manchester United debut, the pressure will be on the teenage winger to impress.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will know that patience is key with the 18-year-old. Yet the eyes of the world will be on the £37.2million teenager (BBC) when he does appear for the first time.
As a result, those playing around him will have a vital role to ease Diallo into the action. And none more so than the right-back.
When Diallo made his first appearance for United’s under-23s, Brandon Williams started behind him. As the most experienced option available at that level, last year’s breakout prospect ensured the Ivorian could do what he does best.
And the same may apply for the first-team.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been outstanding in recent weeks. Always solid at the back, the 23-year-old is now delivering at the opposite end of the pitch.
But he could be asked to rein it in whenever Diallo gets the call.
The teenager may get his first chance against West Ham in the FA Cup. And Wan-Bissaka could feature again, having done so in the previous round.
That would be a sensible approach, allowing Diallo to focus on the attacking part of his game. The defensive responsibility will follow. But expecting him to do too much too soon would be foolish.
Wan-Bissaka is the most likely option, with FA Cup glory getting nearer by the week. But Williams’ early experience alongside Diallo would also make that partnership a potential first-team alternative.
A great partnership in the making
Wan-Bissaka is still only 23, meaning he has his best years ahead of him. The £50million signing (BBC) is becoming one of the best right-backs in Europe.
In time, Diallo is expected to join him as one of the top flight’s best wingers. And United fans could get an early glimpse this month.
Even if Diallo doesn’t feature in the FA Cup, the resumption of the Europa League gives the youngster another chance to impress.
United’s Premier League challenge means they could shuffle the team for their cup competitions. But they will also want some experienced heads alongside them.
in just a few short weeks we could see Diallo and Wan-Bissaka on the same pitch for the first of many occasions.