Solskjaer: Diallo close to first Manchester United start but Bailly stuck in Ivory Coast

Amad Diallo Manchester United 2020-21
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The Ivory Coast teenager is gradually fighting his way into Solskjaer's plans following his arrival from Italy in January

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer disclosed Amad Diallo is close to making his first start ahead of their Europa League clash against Granada on Thursday.

Diallo has been introduced as a second-half substitute in his first four matches for the Red Devils, including their 3-1 FA Cup loss to Leicester City before the international break.

Although he has not made his Premier League debut, the 18-year-old has turned in impressive performances whenever he’s called on and he opened his goal account against AC Milan a few weeks ago.

Ahead of Thursday’s game in Granada, Solskjaer lauded Diallo for his quick adaptation and his bright start to life in Manchester.

“Of course he is (close to a start),” the Norwegian boss said in a press conference. “He’s getting more and more used to our expectations and the training and the level of the intensity in the games over here.

“He did well when he played against Milan, definitely, a bright start and we’re gradually going to see him play more and more and a start might come now it might come in a little while.”

While Diallo is fighting for his maiden start, his compatriot Eric Bailly is stuck in the Ivory Coast after testing positive for the coronavirus during the international break.

Solskjaer added that the Ivorian centre-back will not be able to return to England until his health status changes and he also gave an update on Anthony Martial’s condition.

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He continued: “Eric is still in Ivory Coast he needs a negative test before he can come back, we’re waiting for that one.

“Anthony has started his recovery and if we see him before the end of the season I’ll be very surprised. He’s determined to come back as quick as he can because there are important games for us before the end of the season and the Euros.

“He’s already come in and he’s bright around the place, disappointed he can’t help us now but he wants to work to get back as quickly as possible.”

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