Diallo: Why is on-loan Manchester United star struggling at Rangers?

Amad Diallo-20220129(C)Getty Images

Ex-Scotland international Steven Thompson believes Ivory Coast youngster Amad Diallo is full of potential but that it might take time for him to be a starter at Rangers.

The 19-year-old came off the bench to score and help the Gers defeat Dundee United and Ross County in the league assignments, but has largely struggled to make an impact.

The Manchester United star, who joined the Scottish heavyweights on loan, has featured nine times for the team in the league and scored three goals.

"In the second half against Dundee United he was brilliant," Thompson said as quoted by BBC Sport Africa, "but that's at Ibrox when you're very comfortable in a game and you're getting a lot of freedom on the ball.

"That wasn't the case in the Old Firm game [at Celtic in February] where he wasn't performing so well."

The Red Devils paid Atalanta an initial fee of £19m for the teenager's services with a further £18.2m in add-ons. However, at Old Trafford, the Elephant managed just one Premier League start before being sent on loan.

Thompson says the price tag might have put pressure on the youngster who he believes must up his game to stand a chance of being a regular with the Gers.

"I think pressure comes with the price tag that was paid for him. That brings a level of expectancy from supporters that watch him," the 43-year-old former striker continued. "He's obviously full of potential and in flashes, he looks very, very good, but I think he's a bit off becoming a regular starter for Rangers."

Diallo played in the Old Firm Derby against Celtic on May 1 but struggled to impress as the teams settled to a 1-1 draw. Thompson insists it was a setback for him but went on to state the player is still learning.

Article continues below

"At Celtic, he almost looked like a rabbit in the headlights. That set him back, I think, both from a kind of mental point of view and the fact that then Giovanni van Bronckhorst didn't use him as much.

"When you look at Amad and the amount of games he's played as a professional footballer, he's hardly played any. He's learning.

"What happens to him next season? I guess we'll find out."