Man Utd: Diallo posts Atalanta tribute after sealing move
Manchester United signed Amad Diallo from Atalanta for £37million earlier in the January transfer window. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted the forward could feature against Everton on Saturday night, having impressed in training and behind the scenes so far. Therefore, it’s now time to look back at everything the Norwegian has said about the 18-year-old since his arrival.
Solskjaer opened up on Diallo earlier in January and said the player’s move to the club would go ahead, despite rumours Atalanta wanted him to stay on loan at the time.
“Amad, we’ve had all the paperwork, I can’t see any obstacles,” he said.
“We hope very soon he will be with us. We are very excited to have him in. He’ll need time to develop.”
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The plan to settle
Also in January, Solskjaer claimed United would allow Diallo time to settle in England before unleashing him on Premier League defences.
“We felt Facundo [Pellistri] would benefit [from time in the Under-23s],” he said.
“He started training with the first-team – he did well but we couldn’t give him game-time so we thought we’d give him a run of games in the [Under] 23s and he’s benefited from that.
“His confidence has been given a boost. He’s shown in all the games that he can impact the game.
“With Amad, hopefully we can get him in and we’ll see how the squad looks and how he looks and how he settles as soon as possible.
“They’re both talented players that we believe will have a long career here. It’s important we find the right time.”
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Naming two roles
Speaking before United’s 1-0 win over Watford, Solskjaer opened up on two roles Diallo is capable of playing in.
“I think he [Amad] is comfortable in many positions,” said the 47-year-old.
“Right-wing is probably the position he’s played the most, with his left foot coming inside.
“Then again, in the Champions League for Atalanta, he played on the left – he cut inside and he went outside, so he can play different positions for us.
“Let’s give him time to find his feet here in England and we’ll hopefully see him soon.”
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Solskjaer said before his side’s goalless draw with Liverpool at Anfield that Diallo had been ‘very good’ so far.
“Very good,” said the Norwegian.
“He can handle the ball, he’s enjoyed training, makes a difference in training, which is quite remarkable at his age.
“Some adjustment to settle into the hustle and bustle of the Premier League but I can’t see it’s too long until he’s in the squad.
“It [his debut] might be quicker than that [a few weeks], he’s definitely settled down, well, players have taken to him, he’s a good character, polite, smiley boy who works really hard.
“He’s doing his sessions, getting used to us, there’s always a period of adjustment needed but he’s settling in well.”
Solskjaer makes promise
Ahead of his team’s 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United, Solskjaer claimed Diallo would soon be seen in the first team.
He said: “There has been quite a few clubs interested in Facundo to go out on loan and that’s maybe something we will let him do now.
“He’s had a few games in the reserves and we want to get him regular football in a different level.
“Amad is different, he’s only come in and he’s training in a different scenario.
“It won’t be long until I can bring him into the squad.”
Solskjaer confirmed Diallo would feature for the Under-23s against Liverpool last week.
He said: “Yes, Amad will play in the game against Liverpool in the Under-23s.
“He’s been training really well and settling in.
“He’s ready to get some game-time and match exposure.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him. [Liverpool?] There you go. Welcome to English football!”
Solskjaer’s Joe Hugill hint
Joe Hugill recently scored four goals for United in that match against Liverpool, with Diallo bagging a brace against the Reds.
And Solskjaer hinted that Hugill was more likely to get his debut before Diallo based on that game.
“We’re going to give him the time to settle in,” he said of Diallo.
“If we go from that game [vs Liverpool], I’d pick Joe Hugill.
“Four goals by Hugill, he’s a top striker as well, we’re looking forward to seeing his development.
“Amad gets a good start and why Joe didn’t take the penalty himself to get five goals I’m going to ask him.”
Solskjaer has now suggested Diallo could make his debut against Everton on Saturday, saying: “We will make a decision on Amad in the week [on] what he does at the weekend – if he’s in our squad.
“It depends on many factors, if we have injuries or Covid.
“You never know, but he might be playing on Friday [for the U23s] but yeah.
“I will make a decision on Thursday.”
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