Manchester United’s Carrington academy has long been known to churn out the best young prospects, and identify shrewd acquisitions for bright young stars, welcoming them and placing them on the periphery, ready to nurture their skills.
One such star that is shining at present is Amad Diallo; although he isn’t strictly a product of the academy having signed from Italian outfit Atalanta in a deal potentially rising to £37m last summer, when he was 17 years old, and he is currently plying his trade out on loan with EFL Championship outfit Sunderland.
Anthony Elanga has offered glimpses of promise throughout the maiden stage of his Man United career, notably scoring a late equaliser against Atletico Madrid in the 21/22 Champions League round-of-16 tie, but with the increments Diallo is making, burgeoning into a force to be reckoned with, it might make sense to move him on and welcome the Ivorian starlet back into the fold.
For Sunderland this term, the 20-year-old – who Owen Hargreaves once dubbed a “special one” – has scored six goals and served one assist from 18 league appearances, with all seven direct goal contributions coming in his previous ten appearances.
He has emerged as a driving offensive force for the Black Cats, a key cog in the ambitious side’s make-up as they look rise the ranks and forge a promotion bid, having clinched promotion from League One last season.
As per Sofascore, Diallo has recorded an average league rating of 6.95 in the English second-tier, starting 11 times and impressing with his seven direct contributions, complemented by a rate of 1.6 shots per game and two big chances created.
His slick passing accuracy of 86% also alludes to a ball-playing prowess that will serve him well in the swift forward-thinking transitional play that United manager Erik ten Hag likes to utilise.
“The way Amad Diallo gets on the ball and drives from midfield is just beautiful to watch, what a player we have, just has so much confidence at the moment. Different level for the Championship, outstanding at dropping back in and starting counterattacks.”
And with recent reports stating that the likes of Everton are interested in the Red Devils’ Elanga, a turn of the wheel might be a move that suits all parties, with the young winger getting the opportunity to fight for a regular spot in the starting line-up at Goodison Park, and Diallo nurturing his skill-set and earning a platform to exhibit his world-class credentials.
Having already made nine senior appearances for Man United, scoring one goal and one assist, Diallo has already set the ball in motion and will look to forge a prosperous career at the Red Devils in due course.
He’s started on the front foot, and if he continues to dazzle with prolific performances then he will certainly earn a shot at a regular role at the Theatre of Dreams.