Fri. Oct 30th, 2020

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How new Man United signing Amad Diallo stunned Man City coach

3 min read

Manchester United secured the services of Atalanta youngster Amad Diallo on deadline day but fans will have to wait until January to see him in action.

MEN Sport reported on September 16 that United were exploring the possibility of signing the 18-year-old and a deal was concluded for Diallo on Monday. United have agreed to pay up to £37.2million for the youngster, who will remain in Italy until next year.

Given Diallo has played just 24 minutes of senior football for the Serie A side, it’s understandable that United supporters may not know what to expect from their latest addition.

Diallo is held in high regard at Atalanta, who possess one of the best academies in Italy, and he was compared to Lionel Messi by his teammate Papu Gomez.

“He’s a future star, trust me,” Gomez said. “During our training sessions he plays like Messi! You can’t stop him, he’s unbelievable, our centre-backs have serious problems when he is on the pitch. He’s fantastic.”

While comparisons to Messi are more than a tad premature, his quality was on show against Manchester City in the UEFA Youth League last season.

City named a strong line-up containing the likes of Eric Garcia – now a Premier League regular – Taylor Harwood-Bellis as well as Ian Poveda and Tommy Doyle for the match at the CFA in October 2019.

City struggled to contain Diallo who set up the equaliser after driving through the defence before crossing for Davide Ghislandi to score. Atalanta took the lead and settled into the game as Diallo continued to torment City’s defenders. His performance was rewarded with a goal as he skipped past both Garcia and Harwood-Bellis with ease to secure a 3-1 victory for his side.



Diallo secured the win for Atalanta’s U19s at the CFA

His excellent showing did not go unnoticed and forced City to make plans to stop him in the reverse fixture.

MEN Sport’s City reporter Simon Bajkowski was in attendance for both games and recalled how Diallo’s performance in the first match in Manchester was so impressive to City’s coaches, that in the return fixture in Bergamo the Blues’ gameplan centred around nullifying the youngster.

City aimed to give him as little space off the ball as possible and stop him by any means necessary when he did get the ball. Their plan ultimately failed as Atalanta secured a 1-0 victory in Italy to top their Youth League group as City failed to qualify for the next phase of the competition.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given plenty of opportunities to youth players during his spell in charge and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Diallo among the young United players to benefit from first-team minutes in 2021.

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