Ahead of Manchester United’s match with Fulham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked if Amad Diallo may be ‘four or five weeks away’ from making his debut.
Solskjaer often holds back over his young players. His answer to the question about Diallo was pretty telling.
He was quoted by United’s club website: “It might be quicker than that, who knows? He’s definitely settled down well. The players have taken to him and he’s a very good character. A very good, smiley boy who works really hard. He’s doing his sessions and getting used to us of course. There’s always a period of adjustment needed, but he’s settled in well.”
Debut chance might come this weekend
United’s wing options are wide open. Dan James clearly hasn’t convinced enough to be a regular option. Marcus Rashford has been overplayed and needs to be managed sensibly.
Mason Greenwood cannot seem to find the form of last season. He worked hard against Fulham with no reward for his efforts. Another chance may come this weekend, but it won’t be a surprise if he is dropped.
Diallo is the exciting option who might just be able to provide something a little different.
If Greenwood has become a bit too predictable for opponents who seem to have cottoned onto his trick of cutting inside to shoot, Diallo is the opposite. He is a real livewire and nobody knows what to expect from him.
Diallo possesses a trait which nobody in the United squad seems to share with any real consistency, a desire to take players on.
His trickery and quick feet will cause problems even for the very best opponents, and United can gain a real edge on teams by throwing him into the mix.
At this stage, with nobody seizing the right wing position, it becomes more and more of a case of ‘why not?’ take a gamble.
On Sunday we will see United host Liverpool in the FA Cup. It is a game where a lot of the pressure will be off, in comparison to the current intensity of the league games. United will make changes, with Donny van de Beek and Alex Telles expected to start.
United are permitted to name nine substitutes and use five of them, as per rules of the cup.
Diallo may not start the fixture at Old Trafford, but there is a strong chance he will be named on the bench, and then make it on.
Whether it be for 30 minutes or five minutes, getting a first glimpse of Diallo in action would be special.
Anthony Martial made his bow against Liverpool back in 2015 and it was a truly memorable one. Diallo could have the same opportunity, and if he can take it, he will demonstrate he can be a first team option to turn to in the Premier League too.
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