Amad Diallo will be chomping at the bit to make his first appearance in a Manchester United shirt. And that opportunity could be just days away; albeit for the second string.
The Ivorian winger finally arrived at Old Trafford this week. And Red Devils fans will be excited to see what he can do having only seen YouTube clips to date.
Signed for an initial £19million – with £18.2m in add-ons – (BBC) Diallo spent the last few months at Atalanta before finally heading to United. With his visa sorted and freshness in his legs, do not be surprised if the 18-year-old features for the U23s next week.
United take on Leicester City’s next generation on Monday evening and it could be the ideal opportunity for their newest player to impress.
It may be too soon for the teenager to start. But a second-half run-out is certainly possible.
Throwing a player of Diallo’s quality on for 10 minutes against a tiring Foxes backline would be smart management. It could also give the player his U23 debut with little pressure.
Interestingly, United’s second string then take on Liverpool’s U23s on 30 January. And that would be one hell of a game for Diallo to earn his first start.
While the two senior sides battle it out for the Premier League, their respective youngsters will have plenty of reasons to win their own clash.
A star in the making
Diallo is the real deal. United spending a huge sum to sign him is testament to that.
But fans should not expect too much too soon. Blooding him with the U23s will help him get used to his surroundings. He can then, hopefully, get some first-team minutes in February and beyond.
The winger burst onto the scene for his former club when he scored on his debut – coming off the bench in a 7-1 win.
He has rarely played since but that is no slight on his ability. In fact, one wonders how much of his recent inaction was to ensure the United move went through smoothly after October’s agreement.
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