While all the excitement surrounding Jadon Sancho’s impending arrival at Old Trafford continues to heighten, there is one player who may not be quite as enthusiastic as the rest.
United produced a big shock on deadline day back in October when they confirmed the signing of Amad from Atalanta in a deal worth a hefty £37million for the teenager.
Given he had made just a handful of senior appearances in Italy, the 18-year-old was very much deemed one for the future, though his fee suggested United were banking on more than just promising potential.
Indeed in the weeks and months that followed, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer drip fed Amad into first-team opportunities, with the youngster’s crowning moment coming with his first goal in the 1-1 draw with AC Milan back in March.
“He is a young boy with a big future,” Solskjaer said after that game. “You can see day in, day out he is starting to improve. He is going to be a big player for us.”
However, despite Solskjaer’s insistence, it seems Amad will not be too big a player to command a regular starting role in his favoured position over the next few seasons.
United’s decision to fork out around £80m to land Sancho is a testament to that.
And it begs the question where that leaves Amad, whose own first-team chances will likely be limited to scraps in the cup competitions or perhaps as a substitute – and that’s without considering teammate Daniel James.
Amad does of course have time on his side, but Sancho is only three years his senior, which proposes that one or either will be handed minutes in more unnatural roles than they are accustomed to.
Yet that is something Amad feels he simply has to be prepared for if he wants to succeed at United, despite admitting his ideal position would be the one Sancho is coming to fill.
“I see myself more as a wide-right player, but I have always said that, in football, you should never have a preferred position,” he told UTD Unscripted. “Okay, perhaps you have a preference, but you should be ready for anything.
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“I have played wide left, wide right, and I have played through the middle, so all of the positions are the same to me. If the coach tells me to play in a specific position, there will be a reason for that. I will not argue, I will just play in that position.
“If I really have to say a favourite position, I would say wide-right, because, from there, I can dribble and carry the ball deep into the opposition’s half. So I guess it is the position I like best, but I have to be ready for everything.”
Amad managed to make eight appearances for United last season having only completed his move in January after work permit issues.
And it seems Solskjaer is willing to play the long game to nurture the “top, top potential” he is adamant his wing prospect possesses while he “acclimatises” to life in England and the Premier League.
In that respect, signing a ready-made Sancho will give Amad ample time and less pressure to work wonders instantly, though he insists there is little difference to the English game to what he has experienced elsewhere.
“I play here like I played in Italy,” he added. “Obviously, coaches set up teams in different ways but playing wide-right here, having freedom, having to attack and defend.
“In Italy it is a case of go and attack but then defend and it is the same here.”