Manchester United are hoping Amad Diallo can solve their Cristiano Ronaldo problem

Man Utd: Diallo posts Atalanta tribute after sealing move

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted he’ll look to deploy Amad Diallo on the right wing of his attack. And that suggests the Norwegian is hoping he can solve the club’s problems in that department, which have lasted since the days of Cristiano Ronaldo. The 18-year-old has only been at Old Trafford for a number of weeks but has already impressed in training.

Back in the summer, it was common knowledge United wanted to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.

But, believing the Bundesliga giants’ asking price of £108million to be too steep, the Red Devils ended up switching focus late in the day.

Instead, United agreed a £37m fee with Atalanta for Diallo. The scouting department at Old Trafford viewed his imminent signing as a significant coup in the aftermath, believing they’ve struck gold.

He’s since joined up with his team-mates and Solskjaer, speaking ahead of his side’s Premier League showdown with Sheffield United on Wednesday night, has high hopes.

The Norwegian also revealed Diallo’s best position on the right wing, saying: “That’s his preferred position.

“He is good at finding space, he can go inside and outside and he will get the time to prove that he is the one.

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“Along the way we have got Mason [Greenwood], Marcus [Rashford], Daniel [James], Juan [Mata] and Paul [Pogba] has played there, so we have options but I think when you look at the squad and you look at Amad and you think, yeah, that’s probably where we will work to fit you in.”

And that suggests United are hopeful Diallo will solve their Ronaldo problem.

Not since the days the Portugal international raced down the right wing have the club had a truly outstanding asset in that area.

Antonio Valencia did well enough for United, especially under Sir Alex Ferguson, but the former Wigan star was never going to scale Ronaldo-esque heights.

In fact, Valencia even gave up the No 7 shirt in 2013 after believing it had cursed him. He reverted back to his traditional No 25 jersey instead.

For a little while, it seemed as though Adnan Januzaj would be the Ronaldo heir.

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The Belgium international sparkled under David Moyes, with a brace against Sunderland standing out early into the Scot’s disastrous reign.

But things fell apart for Januzaj under Louis van Gaal, with the Dutchman never giving him the freedom to express himself.

Van Gaal then signed Angel Di Maria, Ronaldo’s old team-mate at Real Madrid, for a huge £60m back in the summer of 2014.

Things for him started off well too, with Di Maria’s deft chip against Leicester in a 5-3 defeat still sublime to this day.

But Di Maria’s confidence plummeted and, after growing unhappy with Van Gaal’s treatment of him and life in Manchester, he was sold to Paris Saint-Germain after just 12 months.

Then came Memphis Depay.

Yet the Netherlands international, who has sparkled at Lyon in the years since departing, never had the true backing of his compatriot and was eventually sold by Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho himself snapped up Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and later Alexis Sanchez, during his mixed time in the Old Trafford dugout.

But neither player ever lived up to expectations, with the signing of Sanchez potentially the worst piece of business in Premier League transfer history given his old wages of £400,000—a-week.

So, now, it’s time for Diallo to step up.

It seems as though, having missed out on Sancho, United believe the teenager can take English football by storm – solving their Ronaldo problem in the process.

And, curiously, Solskjaer isn’t looking to loan him out.

That’s what he’s aiming to do with Facundo Pellistri but, speaking ahead of tonight’s match, he made it clear Diallo was central to his current plans.

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.”

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