Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand has very high hopes for new boy Amad Diallo, claiming he could become a ‘world-beater’ just like Cristiano Ronaldo if he applies himself right.
Diallo finally joined the Red Devils in a deal which could rise to £37million, paying an initial £19m upfront but could cost a further £18m in add-ons despite playing just five times for Atalanta’s first-team.
The 18-year-old is viewed as one of the brightest young talents in the game and United will be confident he can play a prominent role for the club going forward, and Ferdinand believes he can have a huge impact in the future.
‘We’ve just bought a kid in from Atalanta and hopefully he does something,’ the former United defender said on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE podcast.
‘If you see his clips and speak to people at the club who are involved in buying him, potentially this kid could be a world-beater.
‘That is the thought of Manchester United people that this kid is one they have unearthed.’
Ferdinand then went as far as drawing comparisons between Diallo and Ronaldo, who joined in a £12.24m deal in the summer of 2003.
Ferdinand added: ‘I don’t want to put the pressure of Ronaldo on him, but no-one knew about Ronaldo when we bought him other than the people in Portugal.
This kid seems similar in that sense and if you see his clips and the way people talk about him, the world is his oyster if he applies himself right.’
Ronaldo went onto win three Premier League titles, one Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup, one FA Cup and two League Cups during his time at Old Trafford before claiming five Ballon d’Or crowns.
Diallo passed his medical and agreed personal terms last Thursday but actually signed for United in the previous transfer window in October but remained in Italy on loan for the first half of the season.
Despite the big expectations on his shoulders, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists United must be patient with Diallo if he is to succeed in England.
‘It’s important we give him that time to settle in, if it’s in the under-23s or if he looks ready to go into the first team, I don’t know yet.