AMAD Diallo has opened up on what he describes as one of the most challenging periods of his career after his exhilarating Sunderland loan was followed by a frustrating spell on the sidelines at Manchester United.

Amad starred for the Black Cats in the 2022/23 season, firing Tony Mowbray's side to a top six finish and scooping the PFA Championship Fans' Player of the Year award.

He returned to Old Trafford last summer desperate to build on that momentum and establish himself in Erik ten Hag's side but the 21-year-old left the first game of their pre-season tour of the United States on crutches and did not play until the final match of 2023.

Signed from Atalanta as a teenager in a 20million euro (£18.7million) deal that could reach 41m euros (£36.3m) with add-ons, the forward enjoyed a promising start to life at Old Trafford.

Diallo played eight times after linking up with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United in January 2021 but fell down the pecking order before an underwhelming stint in Scotland on loan at Rangers.

He got back on track at Sunderland but admits the months that followed his United return last summer made him "sad".


Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal was his first Premier League start for three years and was followed up by another on Wednesday, when his rocket helped secure a much-needed 3-2 win against Newcastle. And he's now desperate to kick on.

“As a player you need to be patient,” Diallo said. “It’s not easy every time, you train hard but you don’t get what you want.

“I was training every day hard waiting for my chance and today I get my chance and score and I’m very happy for that.

“I go step by step. I know this year was not easy for me because I didn’t play a lot. The most important thing was to go step by step and when you get your chance you fight for the team and help the team.”

Diallo has made 11 appearances for United this term, with the peak undoubtedly his last-gasp winner off the bench in the stunning 4-3 FA Cup quarter-final win against Liverpool.

Sunderland were hopeful he might have been made available for another loan in January but ten Hag opted to keep the Ivorian at Old Trafford.

“It was not easy for me, to get injured in pre-season,” says Amad.

“I was in Sunderland where I did well and I wanted to come here and help my team. I got that injury and I was a little bit sad but now I want to forget that moment.

“It was one of my most difficult moments. Now I’m happy to be back and hope to help the team for the rest of the season.”