Manchester United star Amad Diallo must bulk up and improve his heading if he’s to become an Old Trafford superstar, former coach Denis Cerlini believes. The 18-year-old moved from Atalanta in a £37million deal earlier in the January transfer window. And Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is excited about his arrival, believing he’s signed a gem of the future.
It was an open secret that United wanted to sign Jadon Sancho during the summer transfer window, believing the Borussia Dortmund star would shine alongside Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes in attack.
But Joel Glazer ultimately deemed the England international to be expensive, telling Ed Woodward not to meet the Bundesliga giants’ huge £108million asking price.
United then changed tact, agreeing a fee with Atalanta for Diallo.
And the teenager completed his move to Old Trafford earlier in January, moving to the Premier League in a fee worth £37m.
Solskjaer has already expressed his excitement about the signing – but former coach Cerlini has warned he isn’t the finished article just yet.
“Physically, Amad wasn’t the strongest at Boca Barco, and his heading abilities aren’t good,” Cerlini told BBC Sport.
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“I worked at Lucchese in the third division at the time, and invited them for a trial with our youngsters.
“I quickly saw they were simply too good for us. Amad played with bigger boys and drove them insane with his dribbling.
“Therefore, I made a few calls to Serie A clubs in order to tell them about the guys. At Atalanta, I spoke to the sporting director Gabriele Zamagna, and they duly signed Amad.”
Diallo is set to be given some time to adjust to his new surroundings at United, like what the club have done with Facundo Pellistri.
And Solskjaer expressed his excitement over the Ivorian earlier in the month, saying: “Amad we’ve had all the paperwork, or we’re waiting for all the paperwork. I can’t see any obstacles really.
“Hopefully within not too long he’ll be with us.
“I’m very excited about bringing him in. I think he’s shown a few times his qualities.
“Of course he has to learn to play in England, that’s a different level of football. We’ll give him time to develop and to express himself.“
Diallo isn’t expected to feature when United lock horns with Burnley on Tuesday night.
Victory over the Clarets would move Solskjaer’s side to the top of the table ahead of their showdown with Liverpool on Sunday.