Amad Diallo came close to tasting first team action in midweek. The young winger was on the bench as United beat West Ham in the FA Cup.
Diallo was seen warming up on the touchline in extra-time although did not make it on.
Now there is a question over what comes next. One option for United is to keep Diallo in the first team squad.
This weekend United travel to West Brom, and there are arguments for and against bringing him along.
Should Diallo feature this weekend?
United were able to name an expanded substitutes bench as per rules of the FA Cup. This makes it less likely Diallo will find his way into the squad this weekend.
A tricky away tie against West Brom may not seem like the kind of game to throw Diallo in.
However, United could bring him along for the experience, to sample a Premier League away game for the first time.
Selecting Diallo on the bench gives United an option in the event we are able to take a healthy three-goal lead with 20 minutes to go.
Diallo has proved his point for the under-23s and has an argument to be considered as a first team player on a regular basis at this point.
Another under-23 game?
The alternative is United decide that one more under-23 game won’t hurt. Diallo could benefit from playing another 90 minutes, rather than likely being a back-up option for the first team.
United have a juicy under-23 fixture against Arsenal on Friday night. This is a match which will have a big-game feel.
In the table United sit in sixth and Arsenal in eighth. A win could solidify our position as a top half under-23 team.
This match would be another test for Diallo and United will want to see if he can maintain his bright start which has seen him score three goals and assist three in just two under-23 matches.
Then there’s the Europa League…
United’s decision will be taken with a view to the Europa League in mind.
Diallo will likely travel as part of the squad and be considered for both matches. Again, United have a larger bench and ability to use five substitutes in these matches.
United brought Facundo Pellistri along on two away trips in the Champions League, and the same approach will likely be taken with Diallo. It’s good experience for him.
Diallo is United’s wildcard and it would not be a surprise if the Europa League is the competition in which he makes his first team debut.
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