Patience pays off for Amad Diallo as Manchester United winger starts to shine

Amad Diallo says he found it hard to bide his time at Manchester United but the talented youngster is delighted his patience is finally reaping rewards.

Signed from Atalanta as a teenager in a €20 million (£18.7 million) deal that could reach €41 million (£36.3 million) with add-ons, the fleet-footed winger enjoyed a promising start to life at Old Trafford.

Diallo played eight times after linking up with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United in January 2021 but injuries, loans to Rangers and Sunderland, and competition restricted his progress at the club.

Now 21, the Ivory Coast international is finally making his mark with the Red Devils.

Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal was his first Premier League start for three years and was followed up by another on Wednesday, when his rocket helped secure a much-needed 3-2 win against Newcastle.

“As a player you need to be patient,” Diallo said. “It’s not easy every time, you train hard but you don’t get what you want.

“I was training every day hard waiting for my chance and today I get my chance and score and I’m very happy for that.

“I go step by step. I know this year was not easy for me because I didn’t play a lot. The most important thing was to go step by step and when you get your chance you fight for the team and help the team.”

Diallo has made 11 appearances for United this term, with the peak undoubtedly his last-gasp winner off the bench in the stunning 4-3 FA Cup quarter-final win against Liverpool.

The winger’s sending-off for his celebrations provided a bump in the road after seeing the start of his season ruined by a pre-season injury.

An exciting loan spell at Sunderland heightened anticipation heading into this campaign, but Diallo left the first game of their pre-season tour of the United States on crutches and did not play until the final match of 2023.

“It was not easy for me, to get injured in pre-season,” he said.

“I was in Sunderland where I did well and I wanted to come here and help my team. I got that injury and I was a little bit sad but now I want to forget that moment.

“It was one of my most difficult moments. Now I’m happy to be back and hope to help the team for the rest of the season.”

Eighth-placed United round off a poor Premier League campaign away to Brighton on Sunday, before attention turns to Wembley and the FA Cup final against Manchester City.

It offers the chance to secure silverware and Europa League qualification at the end of a difficult season in which the progress of young talents has been one of the few positives.

Alejandro Garnacho, 19, and Rasmus Hojlund, 21, have shown flashes of quality, as has 19-year-old Kobbie Mainoo during an outstanding breakthrough season.

Diallo provided an assist for the midfielder’s opener against Newcastle and linked up well with the England international.

“In the training we try to play together, to make that combination in the training,” he said. “When we play together like today we try and to make the same things like in the training.

“We are young players, we are motivated to shine here and I hope to continue like this.

“It’s important to have Kobbie Mainoo in the team. He’s a good player and I have a good relationship with him outside of the pitch, with him and Garnacho. We are happy to play together.”

Happiness was not an emotion shared by Newcastle after Wednesday’s Old Trafford defeat.

Eddie Howe’s European hopefuls sit seventh heading into their season finale at Brentford and Lewis Hall wants to end the campaign on a high.

“We take every game as it comes,” Hall, who brought it back to 3-2 at the death, said. “Today wasn’t the result that we wanted but we need to pick ourselves up again and go on Sunday.

“I think we go with just the same mentality we always gone in with, but just knowing it’s the final game of the season, just to give everything because they fans deserve it.”


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