Why Man Utd’s signing of Diallo is similar to Ronaldo’s arrival

Why Man Utd’s signing of Diallo is similar to Ronaldo’s arrival
Amad Diallo in a Boca Barco team picture
Amad Diallo (fourth from left, high row) pictured in 2012 playing for Boca Barco, his first team in Italy after transferring from Ivory Creep

A reasonably unknown 18-yr-aged actual winger of worthy technical ability, it appears lacking the physical attributes to realize the Premier League but signed for fleshy cash by Manchester United.

In just a few ways, Amad Diallo’s arrival at Weak Trafford from Atalanta for £19m – a price that will presumably perhaps well upward push to £37.2m – is similar to Cristiano Ronaldo’s switch from Sporting Lisbon in 2003.

There are a form of differences too, even though.

Whereas the Portuguese was signed, for £12.24m, after an excellent fat debut season within the Primeira Liga, the Ivorian prodigy has fully played four times for Atalanta in Serie A – none of them as a starter.

Granted, he scored an excellent purpose on his debut against Udinese in October 2019, but that clearly did now not persuade the coach Gian Piero Gasperini to present him extra opportunities.

What makes Diallo so particular within the eyes of Manchester United scouts, then? Coaches who indulge in worked with him closely and journalists who indulge in followed his model talk about a few winger of phenomenal attacking doable, a participant who is disciplined, devoted and intensely definite to realize the discontinue.

“Amad has the equal DNA because the ball itself,” Giulio Yanez Ghidotti, L’Eco di Bergamo correspondent who follows Atalanta’s childhood-team suits, tells BBC Sport.

That is doubtlessly what his fogeys felt at a in point of fact early stage. Born in Abidjan, the largest city in Ivory Creep, Diallo moved to Italy with his brother in confide in form his abilities and change into a professional footballer.

The principle most necessary stay, at the age of 12, was at Boca Barco, a small amateur club from Emilia within the north of the nation between Parma and Bologna, named after the Argentine giants Boca Juniors.

“We did now not take into memoir Amad, but rather he actual came to us. It was a fleshy stroke of luck,” Denis Cerlini, the childhood coach who trained Diallo at Boca Barco, tells BBC Sport.

Amad Diallo wins a trophy during his time at Boca Barco
Amad Diallo made an instantaneous affect after becoming a member of Boca Barco

“From the very first moment, it was evident the kid was particular. He was very mettlesome and like a flash, possessed fleshy technique and a solid shot, and completed the entirety at fleshy plug.

“Amad was standard within the dressing room. He made a form of company, learned Italian and appeared as if it can presumably perhaps well also be a in point of fact definite man who knew exactly what he wanted.”

Diallo starred at a Christmas tournament and rapidly afterwards was noticed by Giovanni Galli, the worn Fiorentina, AC Milan and Napoli goalkeeper who played for Italy at the 1986 World Cup.

“A chum asked me to expend a behold at two guys – Amad and his older brother Hamed Junior Traore, who plays for Sassuolo within the within the period in-between. I worked at Lucchese within the third division at the time, and invited them for a trial with our young of us,” Galli recalls.

“I hasty saw they indulge in been merely too staunch for us. Amad played with bigger boys and drove them insane with his dribbling. Attributable to this truth, I made about a calls to Serie A clubs in confide in insist them regarding the fellows. At Atalanta, I spoke to the wearing director Gabriele Zamagna, and so they duly signed Amad.”

After arriving in Bergamo in 2015, Diallo was regarded as one of many standout gamers at the academy. He won the championship title because the major wide title of the Below-15 team, even supposing he was actual 13.

Mercurial hiking to the Primavera (below-19s), he persisted to excel, and won the championship title there too, in 2019.

Presently afterwards, Gasperini invited the rising wide title to educate with the senior squad, and his novel team-mates indulge in been impressed. They did now not truly expertise playing against him, as their captain Papu Gomez outlined. “Each Thursday we confronted the Primavera and Diallo was very complex to stay. He’s correct esteem Leo Messi, and we needed to kick him.

“Amad is terribly ingenious and visionary, his dribbling abilities are radiant, and he is a team participant as successfully,” says Corriere della Sport journalist Andrea Losapio.

“He can play wherever across the entrance line, and his partnership with Dejan Kulusevski – a Juventus participant within the within the period in-between – was prominent at the Primavera.”

“Diallo is undoubtedly regarded as one of many most interesting footballers of his age,” Tuttosport correspondent Giordano Signorelli adds.

“He wasn’t intimidated on his Serie A debut, and played very successfully on his Champions League debut against Midtjylland final month as successfully.

“He’s amazingly proficient technically, but lacks some physical qualities. I factor in he can overcome these concerns if he works on them.”

Amad Diallo in action against Midtjylland
Diallo made his Champions League debut for Atalanta against Midtjylland in December

His lack of physical prowess appears an facet Diallo – and certainly Manchester United – will must indulge in in mind of.

“Bodily, Amad wasn’t the strongest at Boca Barco, and his heading abilities are now not staunch,” Cerlini says.

“He must add about a kilograms of weight in confide in outlive within the Premier League,” Galli adds.

But then any other time, these indulge in been the doubts that surrounded Ronaldo in 2003, and that switch turned out to be rather a hit.

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