Sunderland’s flirtation with Amad Diallo is set to last until the end of the January transfer window.
The latest update seemed to suggest that the Ivorian forward has asked to leave Old Trafford for Wearside and although you need to take it with a pinch of salt, you also need to take a deep breath and wonder if it would even be possible.
We all thought we’d seen the last of Amad after his incredible season-long loan at the Stadium of Light during the 2022/2023 campaign.
A combined total of sixteen goals and assists fired us to within one match of a return to Wembley, and when he returned to Manchester United, he did so as a player we’d come to cherish.
Last summer, it felt as though he’d done enough to be given a chance to fight for his place at Old Trafford, but injuries and the fact that Utd are currently a basket case of a club means that Sunderland fans have been permitted to dream again.
Amad was a figurehead in a team of stars for Sunderland last season, with the likes of Dan Neil, Pierre Ekwah, Jack Clarke and Patrick Roberts coming together in a near perfect way.
His obvious class took several weeks to emerge, but the watershed moment was the 2-1 win at Birmingham City. His assist for Ellis Simms eliminated about four defenders from the game, and his second half strike was worthy of winning any contest.
His link up play with Roberts down Sunderland’s right hand side developed over the season, and the prospect of seeing Roberts back to his best should be enough to get us excited. Add to this what we already know Amad can bring and everything should be crossed, but the deal seems almost too good to be true.
The romantic idea that Amad could be parachuted into Sunderland around eight months after leaving would feel perfect. We know how much he loved being at the club, but any chance of him coming back would hinge on Erik ten Hag giving the green light.
In all honesty, this feels like something that won’t happen, especially with Facundo Pellestri pretty much confirmed to have been loaned to Granada.
The argument can be made that we’d be better off signing a right-sided forward permanently, which we might be about to do in the shape of Romaine Mundle.
However, another loan spell for Amad on Wearside would’ve been special. Seeing him link up with the players who’d helped us take the Championship by storm would’ve been great, but this dream seems like it’ll remain just that.
He’ll go on to have a great career but it feels like he’s going to be better off leaving Old Trafford.
When he gets a good run for a side, more of the footballing world will see his true potential, and we can say that we played a part in his development and created some brilliant memories along the way.
Sunderland’s January transfer activity has taken a while to get going, but we should have at least two new additions on board for the trip to Middlesbrough. With the hours counting down, don’t be surprised to see a couple more new faces sign up unexpectedly, such is the way we do business these days.