After months of waiting, Manchester United have finally announced the signing of teenager Amad Diallo from Atalanta has been completed.
The Ivorian winger has signed on a four-and-a-half-year contract, with the option for an extra season for an initial fee of £18.2m, which could rise to £37m.
The deal was initially reached on deadline day of the summer window in October, but with no rush for a deal to be pushed through immediately the club allowed Diallo to stay with Atalanta while they worked on personal terms and paperwork to bring him to the club.
In those months of waiting, fans have become incredibly excited about the signing of a clearly talented young winger. At just 18-years-old, Diallo has got a rawness about him that gets you off the edge of your seat any time you watch him play.
Granted, it won’t have been a lot. Diallo has just five senior appearances to his name, including just two this season with both coming from the substitutes bench. But United have seen enough from him to ensure that he joins mid-season, rejecting Atalanta’s offer to loan him back for the remainder of the current campaign.
The expectation online has been a bit crazy though. While there is obviously an element of humour going around social media about the signing, even that will add pressure to the youngster.
The realist in me expects that he will maybe have a few cameo appearances in the FA Cup and Europa League this season while maybe making the subs bench if there is an injury crisis or he really impresses.
But there seems to be some kind of expectation and/or hope that he is going to walk into the first-team setup and shine immediately. That just isn’t viable or likely.
As good as he may be, the chances of a youngster with next to no senior football experience coming into Manchester United and being a game-changer on demand are slim to none.
He is clearly full of talent and skill and could go on to become something great, but lets not drown him in expectation so soon. He is in a new country, with a new club, learning a new language and in a new system.
Give him time to develop, grow and learn. If he hits the ground running, don’t expect it to continue for the rest of his career. If he doesn’t hit the ground running, it’s not the end of the world either. He will be inconsistent and ineffective sometimes, and that’s completely normal and okay.
Manchester United have another one of the world’s brightest talents on their hands, give him a chance to really shine without drowning him.