TONY MOWBRAY does not expect Manchester United to recall Amad Diallo next month, and is adamant the 20-year-old is in the right place to continue furthering his football development.

Diallo is on a season-long loan at Sunderland, but the terms of his move from Old Trafford contain a clause that enables his permanent employers to cut short his time on Wearside when the transfer window reopens in January.

With Manchester United having endured a mixed first half of the season, and with Erik ten Hag looking to restructure his squad in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s dramatic departure, there have been suggestions that Diallo could be in the Dutchman’s sights.

The Ivory Coast international has successfully forced his way into Sunderland’s first team as he has gradually settled into life in the North-East, but while he might have scored three goals in his last five appearances prior to the World Cup shutdown, Mowbray does not expect him to be returning to Manchester.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” said the Black Cats boss, ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Millwall. “But we’re not sitting here at the moment thinking, ‘Oh, Man United are going to take him back in January because he’s going to go and make a massive impact for them’.

“I think Man United are in an alright place aren’t they? They’re doing okay. They’ve got a young Argentinian lad (Alejandro Garnacho) coming through who’s been scoring a few goals for them, and I’m sure they’ll be wanting to give him a chance.

“(Christian) Eriksen obviously looks really talented, and their midfield has been shaken up a little bit. They started with Fred and (Scott) McTominay, but now you’ve got lots of different options with the likes of Casemiro, Antony and (Bruno) Fernandes as well. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I’m not sure he’s going to be going back.”

Diallo was forced to take on additional responsibility in the absence of Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms, and the youngster stepped up impressively as both a central striker and a wide forward cutting in from the flanks to threaten in the 18-yard box.

The Northern Echo: Sunderland forward Amad DialloSunderland forward Amad Diallo (Image: Ian Horrocks)

He produced a sensational curled finish to help secure a 2-1 win at Birmingham in the last game before the World Cup break, and while Mowbray fully expects him to be starring on the Premier League stage before too long, he currently feels Diallo will benefit from playing regularly at the Stadium of Light.

“If he was to go back, then I’m not sure he’d be going back to play, and surely at the age the boy is, he needs to play,” he said. “He’s doing that here, and I think this is a great vehicle for him to be showcasing his talent.

“He’s helping our team to be successful, and he’s showcasing his talent to Man United. I know he’s enjoying it – you can see that by the smile on his face every day now, as opposed to a month ago, when he was quite a shy, introverted individual. Now, his talent is flourishing and he’s enjoying himself, and I’m sure he’s not in any rush to go back.”

Diallo will hope to retain his place in Sunderland’s starting line-up tomorrow as the Black Cats host Millwall as they return to action a week before the rest of the Championship.

Tomorrow’s game was rearranged after initially being postponed in the wake of the death of the Queen, and will see Sunderland climb into the top ten if they can claim all three points against a Millwall side that scored four goals at Preston in their final game before the shutdown.

Ross Stewart is unlikely to be risked despite returning to full training this week, while Bailey Wright and Jewison Bennette are unavailable because of their involvement in the World Cup.

Sunderland (probable, 4-2-3-1): Patterson; Gooch, Batth, Alese, Cirkin; Evans, Neil; Diallo, Pritchard, Clarke; Simms.