‘Just give him the ball and he very rarely loses it’ – Sunderland boss gives verdict on Manchester United star

Photo: Getty images

Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray has given his verdict on Manchester United star Amad Diallo who is currently on loan at Sunderland.

“After a few weeks, I think all the coaching staff could see the talent, I’m going to say the brilliance he has with the ball,” Mowbray said in interview with MUTV.

“The ball seems so easy to him, on his left foot, but he needed to build his own confidence levels up, I think to the point where, maybe eight weeks ago, he was scoring almost every game. I think he goes through one spell of five in six games, something like that.

“A wonderful talent but, as you say, he’s quite a shy kid who never puts himself really forward, he never peeps up and says why didn’t you do this, why aren’t I getting the ball here, I should be getting it more. I just tell the team really to try to get it to Amad. Work the ball to Amad, work it to Patrick Roberts, work it to Jack Clarke, to the talent in the team. Generally, they make the right decision with the ball and we’re all delighted with Amad and his progress.”

Mowbray also likened Amad to Bruno Fernandes due to the Ivorian’s versatility and is keen to see him ‘integrate’ into Erik ten Hag’s first-team squad next season.

“He can play wide, he can play inside, he can play deep. I think he can play centre-midfield for us in the Championship, you know. Just give him the ball and he very rarely loses it. Yet we generally put Roberts really wide and play Amad just inside him,” Mowbray said.

“We’ve had huge success down the right-hand side of the pitch with those two linking and playing with each other, people running off the back of the two of them and sliding people in. It’s very profitable for us. He is versatile. I see United games, I watch a lot of football, and Bruno [Fernandes] plays a bit of everywhere, off the right sometimes, inside as a 10 or as a running 8, he can play deep and link the midfield up. Amad is a similar type of footballer.

“I hope Amad will bring personality to the team when he gets back to Old Trafford and he will find his niche in that group. If not, Sunderland are always welcome to have him back because he’s been amazing for us.

“He can do huge numbers, his stamina is amazing, his top speed is good and yet, what catches the eye, is his ball manipulation and how tight he keeps that ball to his left foot. Very little does he give it away. If he does give it away, his natural quick reaction is to try to win it back.

“He’s been amazing for us. I don’t want to sit here and overplay it as, like all young players, he has things he has got to get better at, things he has to learn and it’s right, every now and again, to shout at him and demand.

“He can sit there and think I’ve come from United, he’s on loan and he doesn’t really have to give everything he’s got in any given moment, especially as he knows he’s one of the best players, if not the best player here. He could easily, some days, just not bother and yet that’s not his personality.

“He reacts, when I have shouted at him occasionally, he reacts the right way. He is a good guy and a good human being. That is why he is so liked at this football club.

“Of course, his goals have helped us win football matches and his assists have been amazing but I always, firstly, like having good human beings at the football club. Amad fits into that category.

“As I say, I just hope he can integrate into the next pre-season at United.”