Amad Diallo arrived at Manchester United with glowing praise from then manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who billed the signing from Atalanta as one of the ‘most exciting young prospects in the game'.
Whether his signing can be determined to be a success or not is still an open matter, with Amad half-way through the four-and-a-half year contract he signed back in January 2021.
Amad, signed for an initial £19m ($23.7m), was given a handful of appearances by Solskjaer and even scored a crucial goal against AC Milan in the Europa League in rather sub-par season for the United.
A promising loan spell at Rangers featuring a couple of eye-catching performances raised the interest of Sunderland, who came to an agreement with United on a season-long loan move on Deadline Day last summer.
Amad has showed his parent club glimpses of what he is capable of as Sunderland bid to secure a play-off spot, currently lying in sixth. The Ivorian, who will turn 21 this summer, has been ever-present for Tony Mowbray and turned in displays which saw him nominated for the EFL Championship Young Player of the Season award — missing out to Bristol City's Alex Scott.
A left-footed right winger, predominantly cutting in on his stronger foot, where have we seen this before? Let's dig into how Amad has fared in the Championship using PFF metrics and grading model.
Where Amad Diallo has impressed for Sunderland in the Championship
PFF shooting grade: 94.3 (position rank: 1st/109)
Amad has been on fire this season scoring 12 goals and providing four assists so far this season earning him a shooting grade of 94.3 which makes him the top-ranked player amongst wingers and attacking midfielders in the Championship.
A wide player with high performance across dribbling, carries and tackle resistance, he ranks third with a ball carry grade of 80.9. Looking specifically at dribbling, his success rate of 50% ranks 12th with a grade of 73.9.
Special goal, special player ✨????#SAFC | @AmadDiallo_19 pic.twitter.com/RrKcMwUdmc
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) April 16, 2023
He boasts of a 84% accurate passing percentage and is ranked fourth at his position with a passing grade of 83.1, trailing teammate Patrick Roberts (86.8), Middlesbrough's Riley McGree (85.3) and QPR's Ilias Chair (84.0).
His high level of efficiency has reaped benefits in creating goal-scoring opportunities for Sunderland with 31 key passes and 35 chances created, on top of a total of 118 line-breaking passes — the seventh-most among wingers and attacking midfielders.
A key role in the future at Manchester United?
So, how does this performance tie-in with the currently Manchester United side and what the future for Amad looks like upon the end of his successful loan at Sunderland? On first viewing of Erik ten Hag's first season in charge, we can say that he likes an inverted winger paired with an overlapping full-back as demonstrated by Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw.
|Player||Minutes played||Passing grade (position rank)||
Shooting grade (position rank)
|Marcus Rashford||2,542||74.4 (21st/107)||81.6 (5th/96)|
|Antony||1,437||66.8 (41st/107)||70.8 (44th/96)|
|Jadon Sancho||1,247||80.1 (10th/107)||68.6 (53rd/96)|
|Alejandro Garnacho||503||62.6 (68th/107)||73.1 (35th/96)|
|Anthony Elanga||472||55.5 (106th/107||57.6 (88th/96)|
But on the other flank, Antony has flashed brilliance on occasion but has been dogged by inconsistency. Notably, scoring a goal and providing an assist for Diogo Dalot in United's recent 2-0 victory away at Nottingham Forest but going 14 games without scoring before this.
This could open the door for Amad to be under consideration by ten Hag come the pre-season, given how Amad profiles as a similar mould to Antony.