DESCRIBED as a generational talent by the Italian media, Amad Diallo has Manchester United fans eagerly anticipating his arrival.
The 18-year-old was signed by the Red Devils in October for a reported £37million fee, and is expected to link up with his team mates in the next coming days once a work permit is issued.
On Monday, he shared a snap on Instagram flying out on a private plane – and given his career progression so far that's a life he will surely become accustomed to.
Diallo only made his professional debut in 2019, when he came on as a sub for Atalanta in the 79th minute of their Serie A game against Udinese.
But within four minutes his name was on the scoresheet and a buzz was generated.
No wonder Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is purring at the thought of adding the exciting winger to a resurgent Red Devils squad that's in title contention this year.
OUT OF AFRICA
Diallo was born in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast and moved to Italy at the age of 10.
The family settled in a town near Parma, and at the suggestion of Fabrizio Gilioli, the father of ex-Modena player Cris Gilioli (currently a coach at US Sassuolo) Diallo and his brother Hamed would join local boys' side Boca Barco.
Both went on to trial at AS Lucchese after being spotted by former AC Milan goalkeeper Giovanni Galli.
But it was Amad who would be signed up professionally first in 2014.
After impressing Atalanta youth coordinator Maurizio Costanzi at a tournament in which he was the youngest player, as well as top scorer, Diallo was invited to train with I Nerazzurri.
Diallo’s official Instagram page contains a photo of the winger with Pogba who was at Juventus in 2015.
When the teenager's transfer to United was confirmed, the French World Cup winner sent him the message "Welcome, kid" with a wink emoji.
IMPRESSIVE FROM THE START
Without his older brother Hamed (who signed for Empoli in 2015 and now plays for AS Sassuolo) to protect him, Diallo could have found his new surroundings daunting.
Initially, he began life in the U14 championship in Italy, but was soon promoted to the U15 team.
There, he led Atalanta Primavera into the Final Eight – a playoff tournament that pits the best U15 teams in Italy against one another.
They faced off against Roma in the final, and it was no surprise who made the difference.
Diallo starred and scored in a 2-0 win as Atalanta were victorious.
FIRST TEAM CALL-UP
More goals followed at youth level – 12 in 27 appearances in 2017-18 for the U17 team, then a season later six goals and six assists in the U19 championship – helping Atalanta win it.
A star-turn at the Supercoppa Primavera – where he provided two assists in a 2-1 win over Fiorentina – convinced first team coaches he was ready for the bigger stage.
Four days before Halloween in 2019, Diallo put the frighteners up Udinese.
Coming on as a sub in the 79th minute, the wideman received the ball just past the halfway line and drove towards Udinese's defence, who backed off in fear.
He then unleashed a powerful low shot from the edge of the box that whistled into the back of the net. A star was born.
It's no wonder Solskjaer is eager to link up with his new prodigy, and plans on throwing him in at the deep end.
The Norwegian has called Diallo an "exciting prospect" and reportedly feels it would be a waste of time keeping him out of the limelight in youth football.
Given his instant impact at senior level, could he be the final piece in the jigsaw needed to bring the Premier League crown back to Old Trafford? You wouldn't bet against it.
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