Considerable excitement is building around Amad Diallo at Manchester United.
He was the biggest signing of the January transfer window and the ultimate hope is Diallo can solve United’s long-standing issues on the right of midfield.
United’s last truly great player in that position was one Cristiano Ronaldo.
And in an interview with the BBC, former Ghana international Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu has spoken about comparisons between Diallo and the legendary Portuguese superstar.
“When Ronaldo was leaving Sporting Lisbon, he had played 25 (league) games for them but Diallo at Atalanta didn’t get the chance to play many matches,” Badu said. But they do have some things in common.
“Their age is similar, their pace – he’d take you one against one – and he has an eye for goal. To compare them is too early for us but going by what I have seen, he can be at that level very soon.”
“He is only 18-years-old and we don’t need to put pressure on him, but just allow him to do what he likes best. Guide him on one or two things and he’ll improve and be one of the best players we’ve seen on the continent.”
Ronaldo was 18 when he joined United from Sporting, the same age Diallo is now, so it’s easy to see why the comparisons are being made.
As Badu says, there’s a difference between the level of experience both had when they joined United with Diallo unfortunately not getting much gametime for Atalanta this season.
There’s also different pressure. Ronaldo was more unknown when he came to United, but with the rise of social media and global scouting since then, it feels like there’s more expectation around Diallo.
Fans feel like they know more about him.
He is an incredibly exciting prospect but it’s important that United’s supporters are patient with him and don’t expect a debut like Ronaldo’s against Bolton in 2003.
That cameo caught the eye of United fans but it’s clear from the career Ronaldo’s had that we were seeing the emergence of a generational talent that day.
Diallo cannot be measured by those superhuman standards but it is exciting to hear comparisons between the pair.
- Luke Shaw adds to impressive body of work in United’s win against Burnley
- Paul Pogba is on fire with four assists in five games
- Manchester United fans react to Mason Greenwood’s performance
- Cavani needs one more substitute goal to equal Solskjaer record
- Jack Grealish responds to Dean Henderson’s new look