Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped praise on Amad Diallo after he made his Champions League debut earlier this week.
Diallo dazzled during Atalanta’s draw with FC Midtjylland on Tuesday. Primarily a right winger, the 18-year-old earned his European debut on the left flank of Gian Piero Gasperini’s side, as Liverpool’s win at home to Ajax boosted the Black and Blues’ chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.
Speaking in a pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to West Ham, as quoted by UnitedInFocus, Solskjaer was full of praise for the young winger.
He said: “Amad [Diallo] has come on a few times for Atalanta and is a very exciting talent.
“Hopefully we’ll get the work permit and he’ll be with us in January. He’s a very, very exciting boy as well.”
Reports in recent times revealed that the Red Devils have not yet finalised a work permit for Diallo, who was born in the Ivory Coast.
However, Solskjaer is hopeful the situation will be resolved soon, which will no doubt give Daniel James and Juan Mata some cause for concern.
With Diallo still yet to start a professional game, it’s highly unlikely he will be thrown in at the deep end at Old Trafford, but his rapid progress hasn’t gone unnoticed by Solskjaer, who was effusive in his praise for the teenager.
The Ivorian didn’t feature at all for Gasperini’s side last season, yet has shown enough in training with his current club to convince the Atalanta boss to hand the starlet his first-team debut against Verona, before a brief cameo in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The praise hasn’t stopped there for the starlet, either, as his current captain Papu Gomez has claimed that Diallo “plays like Messi“, whilst former Italian goalkeeper Giovanni Galli believes his quality is “incredible“, which is high praise indeed.
His development is something that Solskjaer will no doubt continue to monitor, too, as he is averaging 3 shots and 1 key pass per game in the Champions League so far this season, via WhoScored.
If he can continue to impress, it may not be too long before he replaces Mata or James in the first team in the not too distant future, with the latter linked to Leeds United, whilst the 32-year-old is arguably entering the twilight of his career.