How Does Amad Diallo Fit Into Manchester United's Plans Next Season?

Amad Diallo has enjoyed an incredible loan spell at Sunderland but will now return to Old Trafford
07:01, 20 May 2023

Manchester United could end the season with two domestic trophies and a place in the Champions League. If that is the case it will conclude a satisfying first term for Erik ten Hag, whose tenure began in shambolic fashion on the pitch. The 4-0 defeat at Brentford and subsequent Cristiano Ronaldo saga now feels like a lifetime ago, and the club are in a better shape on and off the pitch than they have been in the last decade. 

What has also improved in recent years is the quality of their young players. Previously, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Will Keane and James Wilson were seen as the leading lights at the club whereas now there is a real excitement around the players coming through. 

Alejandro Garnacho continues to impress in the first team and Facundo Pellistri seems promising, but the one with the most excitement around him is Amad Diallo. While on loan at Sunderland this season, he has been in superb form and although he couldn't secure them promotion, he has done himself the world of good with his performances.


He recorded 13 goals and three assists for Tony Mowbray’s young side, who overachieved, despite their play-off defeat to Luton Town. Diallo was a huge part of that and will now return to United ready to make an impact, especially given the club will likely be playing Champions League football next term.

It means that Ten Hag may consider using more rotational options in the weekend games before the tie, while the defence of their Carabao Cup title and the FA Cup will mean there is plenty of game time to go around. But what this season has shown is that they have a plethora of wide options, with Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho and Garnacho all proving their worth this term. 

Now the Red Devils are in hunt for a number nine to complete their attacking contingent, but Diallo has the ability to join their ranks and contribute heavily to their first team next season. Not only could he be an option for Ten Hag, he could even become a starter as the year progresses. His technical ability is as good as Antony’s and he has a higher ceiling than the Brazilian in terms of potential.

At Sunderland, Diallo showed that he has the talent to flourish in England and the experience of away days such as Luton in the play-offs will only make him better as he develops. But he also provides a slightly different option to what Manchester United have so far. They are well set on the left wing with Rashford playing the best football of his career from that side this season, and both Garnacho and Sancho seem more suited on that side. 

But on the right, Antony is the preferred option and despite some good performances perhaps hasn’t quite lived up to his £82m price tag. If Diallo can provide some competition on that side, while also showing he can be a penetrative force through the middle this term, it can only be a good thing. He has several similarities to the Brazilian, he rarely uses his right foot and loves a curling shot from range. But he also can carry the ball and attack defenders in a way not many in the United squad can. 

He’s a marvellous footballer who surely has a big future ahead of him at the age of 20. Now United must make sure he fulfils his potential at Old Trafford rather than elsewhere. If they can get the right number nine, potentially Harry Kane, then they’ve got the firepower from wide positions to genuinely challenge for the title. Ten Hag is building something, and Diallo can be part of the next generation that carries this club forward.

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