The Black Cats had raced into a 2-0 lead but capitulated in the second half as Vincent Kompany’s men ran riot to end up with a comfortable win on Wearside in the end.
Patrick Roberts was absent from the matchday squad to face the Clarets and manager Tony Mowbray explained his situation after the match.
“He probably hasn’t played many three-game weeks, he’s picked up a knock in training and was uncomfortable.
“The decision was that we didn’t think it was worth losing him potentially for eight to ten weeks. We decided to give him a breather this week and give someone else an opportunity.”
However, he could now be out for a short period of time after picking up this knock and that leaves other players, as Mowbray stated, with an opportunity to show they should be starting regularly ahead of him.
One gem who did exactly that against Burnley was on-loan attacker Amad Diallo. The Manchester United loanee peeled away at the back post and wrong-footed the goalkeeper with a reverse, left-footed, finish into the near post to open the scoring in the game, demonstrating the ability he has in front of goal.
His goal was not the only eye-catching part of his performance, though, as he also created three chances for his teammates and won six of his 11 individual duels. This shows that he held his own from a physical perspective and had the quality on the ball to open up the Burnley defence to tee up his teammates, although he was not rewarded with an assist for his efforts.
Former Manchester United winger Daniel James once hailed Amad as being “unbelievable” in training and journalist Josh Bunting recently praised the 5-foot-8 magician, stating in a post on Twitter: “You can see the talent he has is exceptional, the quality is there, was so bright yesterday and for me, he made a huge difference.”
The 20-year-old’s performance against Burnley suggests that he has the potential to step up in Roberts’ absence, and beyond, and be the new hero for Mowbray at the top end of the pitch.
His statistics at youth level also indicate that he has the scope to go on and produce quality in the final third on a consistent basis, as he was directly involved in ten goals in five games for Manchester United’s U21s and 28 goals in 46 matches for Atalanta’s Primavera side.
It is now down to the £20k-per-week talent to provide that he can be consistent on the pitch in the Championship and his display against the Clarets was a terrific start.