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Amad Diallo: What is the next step?

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When Manchester United finally announced that Amad Diallo had officially signed for the club there was a lot of positivity and hype around the young Ivorian. The 18 year old arrived with a huge price tag, with a reported initial fee of £19 million and £18.2 million in potential add-ons, this price tag led to some fans feeling the winger should be ready to hit the ground running, even at his very young age. 

However, Diallo only made eight appearances across all competitions for United in the 2020/21 season. During this time the young winger managed one goal and one assist, which was enough for United fans to see the potential of the Ivorian. 

The 2021/22 season promised to be a crucial one in the development of Diallo, as it would be his first full season as a United player. In the summer there were rumours that United were looking to loan out the youngster, The Daily Mailreported that a move was close the Dutch team Feyenoord, even though there was registered interest from Championship club Sheffield United and Premier League outfit Crystal Palace. 

This would have been an exciting loan move for Diallo, as it would have guaranteed him regular football in a competitive league that has a history of developing youth prospects. 

Unfortunately for all parties involved, the deal was called off at the last minute due to a thigh injury that was set to keep the youngster out of action for at least six weeks, as reported by the Daily Mail

This injury has stalled Amad’s development, as not only did it mean he couldn’t leave the club on loan, but it has also kept him out of United’s first team for the start of the campaign, having no minutes to his name yet. 

With Diallo seemingly back in first team training, as reported by Manchester Evening News, the time has come to decide what is next for the promising youngster. Of course, he could stay at United and try to break into the first team, however, after the summer signings of Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, an already tough front line to break into has become even tougher for a young winger. 

Especially since out of his eight appearances last season for United, six of those appearances were as a right winger, which is a position being taken up by Sancho and Mason Greenwood. 

It would appear as though the next step for Diallo should be to go out on loan in the January transfer window, the reason for this being at present he is extremely unlikely to get a run of games for United’s first team, meaning he will be replacing those minutes by playing for the academy team. 

The academy teams are useful for bringing first team players back to full fitness, but there is also the worry that a player’s development can stagnate in academy teams due to games not being played at the same pace as the top leagues in Europe. 

However,  it must be noted that in three appearances for United under 23’s team last season, Diallo managed an impressive four goals and three assists, showing that at the under 23 level, he is more than comfortable. 

Hopefully the club will be able to find a suitable loan option, possibly reaching an agreement with Feyenoord once more as it seems as though all parties wanted that loan move to materialise during the summer. 

Whatever the case may be, United fans will be hopeful that the youngster can get a run of games at a club on loan and return to United with more experience, ready to force his way into the first team squad and prove the potential that the fans know he possess. 

Written by Jennifer McCord

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