Amad Diallo made a good impression on his Champions League debut for Atalanta last night.
The Manchester United bound youngster came off the bench for the final 23 minutes and put in a lively performance as he helped Atalanta come back from a goal down to clinch a 1-1 draw.
The point was enough to keep Atalanta ahead of Ajax ahead of a final group stage match between the two teams with only one qualification spot left available.
The young winger was brought on as a substitute on the left wing, rather than the right. This was interesting as it showed his ability to play in a different role.
Diallo’s display impressed Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini.
Gasperini spoke to TMW after the game explaining his substitutions.
He said: “I was not satisfied with Papu’s performance, with Ilicic I tried to improve, Amad gave us the leap in quality, we struggled a little in front.”
Diallo certainly gave Atalanta an attacking lift. He showed a single-minded intent to go for goal, taking three shots in 23 minutes, forcing the goalkeeper into a full-stretch diving save with one.
It was encouraging from a United perspective to see Diallo getting game time.
This was his second appearance in four days, having not played at all prior to this performance.
If he can arrive at United in January once his work permit is approved, he may be able to feature for the first time quicker than the transition to English football is understandably taking Facundo Pellistri.
United will rotate in the FA Cup game against Watford on January 9 at Old Trafford. If Diallo makes a strong early impression, he may get some game time.
After showing he can make an impact in the Champions League, United may be tempted to fast-track him.
Atalanta boss Gasperini is clearly impressed, and while injuries have helped give Diallo his opportunity, he has taken it. There could be one or two more appearances for him before the end of the month.
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