If you have sharp eyes, during last week’s Carling Cup tie, you may have been quick enough to catch a glimpse of the myth, the legend that is Mame Biram Diouf. A player that only scores goals in fours, whilst leaping tall buildings in a single bound, a lot has been made of him but who exactly is he?
On the 17th of July having already stated that they would not sign any more players that summer, Manchester United announced the signing of a mystery starlet from Norway. Speaking from United’s tour of Malaysia, Sir Alex Ferguson said
“We signed a young player yesterday from Norway, who we’ve been looking at for two years, we weren’t intending on signing anyone else after last week – we feel we have a full squad – but the situation accelerated to a point where other clubs started to make bids, so we had to decide whether we acted or didn’t act. We decided to act and he’ll be the last person we sign.”
After a few hours it was revealed that the starlet was in fact Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf of Molde FK. United’s relationship with Molde hasd been fruitful in the past as it was the club they signed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from in 1996 as well as the emerging talent, Magnus Eikrem so hopes are high for Diouf. These hopes were only raised when, having scored 4 goals in the game prior to signing for United, those who had not heard of him before (if were honest that’s most of us) quickly ‘Googled’ and ‘Youtubed’ him and were treated to a perfect hat trick plus one as the strong, pacy and athletic forward ran riot in the first half in a Tippeligaen game against Brann.
But in all seriousness, Diouf could be some player. He finished with 17 goals in 29 appearances despite spending spells out wide instead of through the middle where he performs best and in the Norwegian cup final he grabbed 2 goals (although this was not enough to stop Molde losing to minnows Aalesund on penalties).
With the Tippeligaen (Norwegian National League) already over, Diouf has been training in Manchester and wasted no time getting amongst the goals, grabbing a brace in a specially arranged 30 minute match against United’s u18 side.
Admittedly there is a gulf in quality in the standard of football in England and Norway but he has the attributes and talents to succeed. He is athletic, with pace to burn as well as strength and a magnificent spring that compliments his heading. One thing that will please United fans is how direct he is, he always looks like his main objective is scoring and he seems to thrive in scrappy games which bodes well considering not every team in the Premier League plays the flowing football that Arsenal does.
Although he prefers to play through the middle, he can also be employed out wide which is an added bonus although I am sure Ferguson won’t employ him in such a role unless it is necessary.
United fans have are in two minds over the striker with the farce that was Manucho fresh in their memories but if he can use his attributes to make the step up in quality and carry on his goacoring here in England then Diouf could very well become the legend that United fans joke about.
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