TONY MOWBRAY expects Amad Diallo to be a huge success at Manchester United at some stage in the future – but the Sunderland boss is desperately hoping Erik tan Hag decides this is not the right time to recall the 20-year-old to Old Trafford.

The Black Cats suffered a huge setback at the weekend when Everton prematurely curtailed Ellis Simms’ loan spell on Wearside, and Mowbray and the rest of the Sunderland hierarchy are desperately hoping the same thing does not happen with Amad before the end of the month.

The Ivory Coast international signed a season-long deal when he moved to the Stadium of Light last summer, but as was the case with Simms, there is a clause in the loan arrangement enabling his parent club to recall him during the January window.

Ten Hag suggested he was minded to keep Amad on Wearside when the subject of a possible recall was raised during a press conference earlier this week, but the Manchester United boss stopped short of categorically ruling out a return for the forward.

That leaves Sunderland in a vulnerable position, although Mowbray concedes there is nothing he can do about the situation.

“He (Amad) is a special footballer, I think,” said the Black Cats boss, whose side head to League One Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup third round on Saturday. “The test for him and for his parent club, of course, is, ‘Is he of the required level to try and win a Champions League and Premier League?’

“That's what they have to decide. But for us he is an amazing player. We're delighted he's with us. Hopefully, he can continue for the rest of the season and do exceptionally well.

“Ten Hag has to make those calls on his footballers. The balance is always between the achievements of the club (and the individual) – so, Manchester United have to be trying to win Premier League titles and competing in the Champions League, and it's not about giving a young guy an opportunity to show how good he can be. They have to produce, they have to do it.

“Man United have to win. With Sunderland coming out of League One, we can try and grow the club, we don't have to win the division this year. If we can compete in the top half, we're doing extremely well, and he's helping us do that.”

The Northern Echo: Amad Diallo scores at the Stadium of LightAmad Diallo scores at the Stadium of Light (Image: Ian Horrocks)

During his time in charge of Blackburn Rovers, Mowbray helped develop a number of loan youngsters who then went on to carve out a first-team place with their parent club, with Harvey Elliott, who left Ewood Park to subsequently break through with Liverpool an obvious example.

Mowbray also helped develop Tosin Adarabioyo, who is now looking at home in the Premier League with Fulham, and he can easily see Amad starring on the top-flight stage in the future.

The youngster joined Manchester United in a €40m deal from Atalanta in January 2021, but has made just three senior starts for the club amid loan deals at Rangers and now Sunderland.

“Hopefully, he can get an opportunity at United at some stage,” said Mowbray. “I liken him very much talent wise to Harvey Elliot, the ball stuck to his feet, you know he'll pick the right pass all the time, he knows when to keep it and when to release it.

“His feet are so fast, and Harvey is doing okay at Liverpool, so hopefully Amad will break through that glass ceiling at United. But it’s never easy for young players.”