Amad Diallo looks set to cement his place in the Manchester United squad after impressing in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games with national side Ivory Coast. The teenaged right-winger provided the assist for Ivory Coast’s winning goal in their opening win with Saudi Arabia in Yokohama.
The 19-year old had signed for Manchester United from Italian side Atalanta in the winter transfer window of 2021 and has gone on to make intermittent appearances for the Red Devils, with the club preaching patience at every turn.
In a summer when the Old Trafford outfit have acquired Jadon Sancho to reinforce their squad, Diallo’s task is cut out in Manchester over the next season.
As he continues his journey with his national team in Japan, FootTheBall analyses the teenager’s task ahead of the beginning of the new season in England.
AMAD DIALLO IMPRESSES FOR IVORY COAST AT TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS
The 19-year old is part of the U-23 squad of Ivory Coast that will be going head to head with footballing heavyweights such as Brazil and Germany in Group D.
The Elephants will be hoping to finish in second place and qualify for the knockout stage of the football tournament at the Summer Olympic Games. But they will have to be at their scintillating best to achieve that.
And, Diallo can be the key that unlocks the defences of Brazil and Germany in their subsequent matches. The Manchester United winger combined with Ivory Coast’s Franck Kessie in Ivory Coast’s opening game against Saudi Arabia.
Diallo went on a slaloming run on the right flank, cut inside and hoodwinked three players to release an inch-perfect pass to Kessie. The AC Milan midfielder turned away from his marker to tuck the ball home for the winning goal in the bottom right corner with a sweet finish.
Diallo only turned 19 earlier this month, but he has been tipped for greater things with his national team. Eric Bailly, Manchester United’s centre-back, will also be pivotal to Ivory Coast’s hopes in Japan (being one of the three permitted overage players).
One must wait and watch as to how Diallo delivers for Ivory Coast in the next two group stage matches as both the Brazilians and Germans will offer a substantially difficult test as compared to Saudi Arabia.
If indeed, Amad Diallo continues in the same stride for the remaining games in Japan, he has the chance of becoming Jadon Sancho’s understudy at the Theatre of Dreams.
AMAD DIALLO READY TO PROVE HIS WORTH AHEAD OF 2021-22 SEASON
After arriving in England during the winter transfer window, Amad Diallo has been on the fringes of the squad at Old Trafford. The Ivorian joined on a five-year contract with the option of extending for one more year.
Since January 2021, he has represented Manchester United in the Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and Premier League 2 (league division for U-23 club teams).
— Amad🇨🇮 (@Amaddiallo_19) January 25, 2021
He scored his first-ever goal in a Manchester United shirt in the Round of 16 of the Europa League against AC Milan as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Diallo also delivered his first assist in the Premier League when he set up fellow youngster Mason Greenwood during his debut match in the English top-fight.
The goal holds the unique distinction of an instance of two teenagers combining to score for the first time in Premier League history in 15 years.
As such, Amad Diallo has showcased in what limited opportunities have come his way that he is capable of filling in for the right-winger role and can be an excellent player who comes off the bench to rescue the side in difficult situations.
AMAD DIALLO TO FIGHT FOR A PLACE IN SOLSKJAER’S TEAM SHEET?
What now remains to be seen is how well he can perform in the Olympic Games with Brazil and Germany, the next opponents for Ivory Coast, and if the teenager will be able to deliver for Manchester United in the upcoming season in England and Europe.
There is no doubt that Jadon Sancho is on top of the list for starting as the right-winger for the Red Devils in every match where he is fit to play, but all eyes will be on Amad Diallo to see if he can gain the No.2 place for the right-wing.
One thing that is clear is that Diallo is not intimidated by the competition that he faces in the Theatre of Dreams, but will be working to earn a place in the team sheet for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. For United, it is a headache they would love to have, as they might end up with two capable options for a position on the pitch in which they had none till last season.