After a successful loan spell at Sunderland, rumours are already swirling regarding the future of Amad Diallo.
Expected to return to Manchester United for pre-season, no decision has been made yet about whether he will remain in Erik ten Hag’s squad next season or go out on another loan.
The 20-year-old narrowly missed out on guiding Sunderland back to the Premier League while finishing the season as their top scorer and also picked up the club’s young player of the year award.
But while Amad is open to a return to Sunderland, The Northern Echo reports that interest is strong among Premier League clubs and “West Ham are understood to be lining up a move that would see the forward spend next season at the London Stadium.”
In addition, “Everton are also believed to be keen to sign Amad on a temporary basis next season, along with newly-promoted Burnley.”
While a second spell under Tony Mowbray, who has managed to get the best out of Amad would be a safe move, the Black Cats’ failure to secure promotion to the Premier League makes it an unlikely move.
Having been nominated for the league’s best young player of the season, the next move for the Ivorian is clearly to take the next step to a higher level, whether on loan or to remain at United.
With the extensive interest in Amad’s services, United will need to be careful while deciding the next step as it is worth considering the rarity of successful loans within the Premier League.
The increasing financial wealth of Premier League clubs from top to bottom has resulted in very few clubs opting to take punts on young loan players.
Long gone are the days of developing talents from big clubs, the entirety of the 2022/23 Premier League season saw only three players loaned in who were 21 or younger.
Of these three, two were loaned in from abroad with an option or obligation to purchase.
This leaves only a singular developmental loan taking place in the Premier League last season, one Levi Colwill from Chelsea who spent the season on loan with Brighton & Hove Albion.
Even then, it took over three months into the season for Colwill to be afforded his first start in the league.
In the end, Colwill only made 13 starts in the league and 17 in all competitions. It was once again a reminder of the extreme difficulty associated with a successful Premier League loan as a player 21 and under.
But fortunately for Amad, the perfect opportunity may await at Old Trafford. With the club playing over 60 matches in the season that just finished, it was often times clear the importance of squad depth.
With only Alejandro Garnacho offering any real threat off the bench in the FA Cup final, Amad could prove highly useful to the Dutch manager.
Combined with Jadon Sancho’s indifferent performances and Antony still bedding himself in, there is a gaping hole in the United squad for Amad to fill as back-up on the right wing and even potentially in a central attacking midfield role.