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Manchester United complete Amad Diallo signing with the player hugely ambitious to succeed at the club

Manchester United have confirmed the signing of 18-year-old Amad Diallo who has joined the Old Trafford club from Italian side Atalanta on a deal that would see the teenager remain at the club until the summer of 2025, with the option of a further year to be added, as is the case with all new signings and contract extensions post-Sir Alex Ferguson. The Ivorian winger was announced as a future deal back on October after United signed Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles and Facundo Pellistri during the delayed summer transfer window of 2020, which at the time was subject to a medical, work permit and personal terms being agreed.

United have made an application for Diallo’s visa, which has yet to be issued and once it has, the player will fly to Manchester, which will probably be in the next week or so. It is unlikely that he will be cleared to face Watford in the Emirates FA Cup this weekend, or Burnley in the Premier League one Tuesday evening. I would imagine that supporters of the club who will be eager to see what he can do, will be speculating which matches he could play in with Liverpool also on the horizon. It is entirely possible that Diallo may start his career at the Old Trafford club playing U23 football unless less pressure like Pellistri has this season.

This season, Diallo has made two first team appearances for Atalanta, playing 13 minutes in the 2-0 Serie A defeat to Hellas Verona on the 28 November 2020 and 22 minutes in the 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw with FC Midtjylland. He neither score nor assisted in any of those matches but did look like a lively playing on the right-wing, with has been a problem area for United for a number of years now. With the fact that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has signed both Pellistri, 19 and Diallo, 18, for the foreseeable future, the right-wing position could be sorted being that Mason Greenwood has also featured in that position regularly.

Atalanta initially wanted to keep the player on loan for the remainder of the season, but that only came out in the media over the last week or so and it was something that was not mentioned in the original deal which was announced in October. United stood firm on the deal which would see the player move to Manchester this month, during the January transfer window. The player started the process earlier this week which seems to be coming to a close. United manager, Solskjaer spoke to the official Manchester United website about his new signing, stating that it will take time for the Ivorian to adapt to his squad, saying:

“As a club, we have followed Amad for a number of years and having watched him myself, I believe he is one of the most exciting young prospects in the game.

“Manchester United has such a proud history of developing young players and everything is in place to enable Amad to reach his potential here.

“It will take time for him to adapt but his speed, vision and fantastic dribbling ability will stand him in good stead to make the transition. He is a player with all of the raw attributes that are needed to be an important player for Manchester United in the years to come.”

Diallo is a raw talent in the game but seems to have a similar ability to that of Cristiano Ronaldo when he was the same age, being confident of what he can do on the pitch and having that dream of reaching the same dizzy heights in the world of football. United under Solskjaer will be a good place for the 18-year-old to take his biggest chance in the world of football after being used sparingly by Atalanta this season, which also seems strange in the respect that the club wanted to keep him on loan for the remainder of the season after only playing a total of 25 first team minutes this season.

Diallo spoke to the official Manchester United website about his new club, talking about waiting since the summer to start the process of signing for the English club, stating that it is a dream come true to complete his move to the Old Trafford club. He also stated that he is hugely ambitious, which is a good sign as ambition and capability will be needed to succeed at United and his capability seems to be just fine, or at least will be when he has settled into the club. It might not be a big transition for him with Italian football not too dissimilar to the English game. Diallo stated:

“After waiting since the summer, it is finally a dream come true to complete my move to Manchester United. I am hugely ambitious and there is so much that I want to achieve in the game; when I spoke to the manager I knew that I had joined the perfect club.

“This is a really exciting squad with so many great players, I can promise that I will work hard every day to learn from them and give everything to develop my game. The coaches have been fantastic since I signed, we have been in touch regularly and they have already given me a lot of great advice.

“I have had time to prepare for this move, both physically and mentally, and I have worked really hard to be ready to make the step up to this amazing club.”

Diallo will get a lot of attention in England. The fact he will be playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world of football will also lay him open for extra criticism, which seems to be the case from pundits, presenters and supposed supporters of the club. Diallo will need to be tough skinned with some of the criticism which might find him if he does not perform to the best of his abilities from the very start as some of the so-called supporters of the club are quick to judge, as has been the case with Daniel James, who started on a flier in his first season at the club and then started to stutter massively. Hopefully, it will be different for Diallo.

Written by John Walker

Manchester United to sign Amad Traore from Atalanta in January; €30 million plus add-ons

Manchester United have reportedly agreed a deal to sign 18-year-old Ivory Coast winger Amad Traore from Atlanta. However, the deal will not be concluded until January with the player remaining in Italy for the remainder of 2020. It was expected that the teenager would move to Parma this summer as there had been agreement between the two clubs for the past three weeks. Fabrizio Romano has stated that the delay in the move will be because of work permit and passport issues, that could be solved before January comes, paving the way for the transfer then. He seems to be a good talent and come highly rated my man in Italy.

Traore was linked to United last month as an option should the pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho become unlikely, which has been the case for a number of weeks now with the ITKs on Twitter seemingly keeping the transfer alive when in actual fact, it seems to have been dead since August. Personally, I would prefer United to go back to the business that they used to conclude, rather than aiming to bring in players with high transfer fees all of the time. Some modern-day supporters demand that and it does not always work; Angel Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez etc. With raw talent and hunger to achieve, it has a better chance of success.

Back in August 2003, in the same summer in which David Beckham was sold to Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo, a relatively unknown Portuguese winger was signed and within a few years, he was a worldwide name and well on the way to becoming the world’s best player at the time. That sort of signing is the type that gives me hope that United will find the right path to success once again. Oh and I’m not saying that Traore is destined to be the next Ronaldo here, so don’t confuse my words. Raw talent, belief, hard work and hunger for success are the key ingredients for players seeking to make waves in worldwide football.

Traore mainly plays as a right-winger but can also play on the left and through the middle in the three positions behind the striker. Last season, Traore made three appearances for Atalanta in the Serie A, scoring one goal; playing 13 minutes against Udinese in a 7-1 victory in the right-wing position – scoring one goal, then featuring in the attacking midfield role (in the middle) against both Juventus (five minutes) in a 3-1 defeat and Parma (six minutes) in a 5-0 victory. At youth level, Traore made 24 appearances, scoring seven goals and 11 assists. This season, Traore is yet to feature for Atalanta but was on the bench against Torino, Lazio and Cagliari.

This could well become good business for United this summer, getting a deal across the line for January and allowing the player to continue in Italy at this moment in time, with the world watching him because of his impending move to United. He will be scrutinised by journalists, United supporters and opposition supporters and every mistake will be mocked and then anything special he does will be adored. It would have been better to have him arrive in Manchester now and get ready for his new career but work permit and passport issues will complicate matters today with little time for such problems.

I am sure the world will be watching Traore when he actually gets on the pitch for Atalanta this season, who are currently leading in the Serie A table after beating Torino 4-2, Lazio 4-1 and Cagliari 5-2 in the three matches they have played so far this season. The future looks good for Traore and there will be hope and enthusiasm that he will be able to achieve for the Old Trafford club when he eventually makes his move to the Premier League. United may need proven talent at the club, but raw talent is a good option too. I am sure the player will be look forward to joining the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes.

Written by John Walker

Amad Traore could be the winger Manchester United needs this summer – young, hungry and full of desire

Manchester United are reportedly eyeing a move for Atalanta winger Amad Traore as their pursuit for Jadon Sancho seems to have stalled at the point whereby the club were told the price for the player, which is something the club would not be paying, seemingly using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse for the deal not happening, this summer at least. The 18-year-old Ivorian is seen as a big prospect in Italy and was part of Atalanta’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final squad when they player Paris Saint-Germain at the end of last season.

On Wednesday, the Manchester Evening News reported that United had contacted the Italian club regarding Traore, as other clubs around Europa had become interested in the player this summer. The report suggested that the 18-year-old was not considered as the main alternative for Sancho this summer, but will been the list. He played 24 minutes in the Serie A last season and had a debut to be proud of, age 17 years and 109 days, scoring in the 7-1 victory over Udinese.

After making his debut, Traore played two more times for his club at senior level. In total, during the 2019/20 season, the 18-year-old made a total of 27 appearances, scoring eight goals and 11 assists, but only played three times for the first team, scoring one goal. It is suggested that Manchester City, Arsenal and Juventus hold interest in the player and for that reason, it might benefit United if they were to get in early and try to formulate a deal for the teenager. However, doing something early seems so alien to United right now. They will probably leave it United there is a battle for the player.

United really need proven quality in their squad this summer, which was why Sancho was such a good player to earmark for the club, however, it seems so like United to baulk at the asking price, which would have been known to them months ahead of the summer transfer window opening, even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. United have no excuses to continue plodding through the summer, trying to get their own way, when paying the £108 million requested for Sancho is the only way.

In the summer of 2003, United signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Clube de Portugal and at the time, the 18-year-old had raw talent. For years now, United have targeted world class players who have ben developed at other club who would sell for massive fees. United should be seeking to develop a world class player themselves, like they did with Ronaldo. Traore might not become a world star like Ronaldo, but he United signed him, gave him first team minutes and allowed him to develop, it might actually work for them. Too many people seem to want instant success.

United have always taken the past of allowing youth to develop, make the first team and prove themselves. I am not just talking about the Class of 1992 here as it goes back to the days of Sir Matt Busby. Granted, between Busby retiring and Sir Alex Ferguson managing the club, there was a period when the youth mantra was not so obvious but Ferguson brought that back to the club and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to do the same. Traore could be a player that will not cost the world, but could be worth his weight in gold in a few years time, if allowed to develop around players who have hunger, desire and determination.

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW