In Focus: Sunderland Amad about Diallo after scoring streak
Sunderland go into the second leg of their Championship play-off semi-final against Luton tonight with a 2-1 advantage.
Tony Mowbray's side fell behind to an early Elijah Adebayo goal but then impressive loanee Amad Diallo dragged them back into the tie with a left-footed strike from distance.
The 20-year-old has been a revelation for the Black Cats, netting 14 times since joining from Manchester United last summer.
Ahead of the clash at Kenilworth Road, we shine the spotlight on the Ivorian winger, who may be part of Erik ten Hag's first-team plans next season.
What makes Diallo ideal for the Red Devils' future is the fact he can play in multiple positions across the forward line.
The ex-Atalanta youngster's favoured role is on the right-hand side of attack but he has also operated as both a central striker and creative midfielder at the Stadium of Light this season.
Mowbray likened the African sensation to United's midfield talisman Bruno Fernandes.
The Sunderland boss said: "He is versatile. I see United games, I watch a lot of football and Bruno plays a bit of everywhere, off the right sometimes, inside as a No10 or as a running No8. He can play deep and link the midfield up.
"Amad is a similar type of footballer. He's a magician with his left peg."
Diallo's ability to score goals is something that will really appeal to Ten Hag.
Of the 11 players to have netted 14 or more goals in the Championship this term, only four have a better goals-per-minute ratio, hitting 0.47 strikes per game.
While Nathan Tella and Chuba Akpom are the only two players who can boast a more lethal goal conversion percentage, with Diallo finding the back of the net with 29% of his efforts.
Publicly, Ten Hag has so far remained coy on Diallo's situation but he must surely be thinking about pairing him with fellow starlet Alejandro Garnacho as early as next season.
When asked whether the former Rangers loanee has a future at Old Trafford, the ex-Ajax boss replied: "Yes, of course, we loan such players to make development and progress to bring them back. That is the aim of the loan.
"They are really strong, we mentor them, we follow them, we have communication over the season, especially [technical director] Darren Fletcher, who invests a lot in such a process. The aim is to bring them back as a better player with experience."
Garnacho reacted to Diallo's performance against Luton on his Instagram page, with the 18-year-old posting an action shot of his colleague celebrating his goal with a caption that read: "What a player."
The pair of wide men look primed to play a major role in the Red Devils’ future and the likely re-addition of Diallo for the 2023-24 campaign should significantly bolster the squad.