Man Utd decision today may hint at Amad debut in Premier League clash vs West Brom
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Manchester United fans will be keeping a keen eye on whether or not Amad is involved for the club’s under-23s against Arsenal tonight (7pm kick-off). If he does not play at Leigh Sports Village this evening, the wondered could be involved in the first-team squad that travels to West Brom this weekend.
The 18-year-old January newcomer, who cost an initial £19million which could rise to £37m after joining from Atalanta in a deal completed back in October, has lit it up for the Red Devils’ under-23s so far.
In just two matches, he has managed three goals and three assists having played the full 90 minutes in both a 6-3 win over Liverpool and a 6-4 victory against Blackburn both in Premier League 2.
The left-sided winger has made such an impression at youth level already that he was promoted to the senior squad for the FA Cup clash with West Ham earlier this week.
He is also training with United’s first-team squad at Carrington.
Amad was an unused substitute at Old Trafford as the fifth-round match went to extra time, with Scott McTominay’s 97th minute strike dumping out the Hammers.
“Amad has been bright when he’s come in,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told MUTV post-match.
“He’s done really well with the reserves games and he’s a player who can create things out of nothing so he’s there if we need something.”
And Goal say that the Ivorian could be included in a first-team match-day squad again at the Hawthorns on Sunday (2pm KO).
But Amad is only expected to be involved against the relegation-battling Baggies if he does not face Arsenal for Neil Wood’s under-23s tonight.
Wood has been full of praise for the player and said recently: “You see he has ability and he’s linking up well.
“He doesn’t really have a relationship with any of these boys here but he came to Liverpool on Saturday and did well and the same against Blackburn.
“He’s training with the first team and doing well and he’s still new to England and the style of football so it’s going to take time.
“Like all young players you have to be patient with them. He’s gaining more confidence as the days go on.”
Premier League clubs can include nine players on the bench – although only three can enter the fray throughout the 90 minutes.
But if Amad plays on Friday night, he is unlikely to make the squad on Sunday given United will want to give him time to fully rest and recuperate.
Amad will hope to make his debut for the senior squad in the weeks to come with United in Europa League action against Real Sociedad, while they take on Leicester away from home in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
Wood’s praise of Amad follows comments from Solskjaer last month in which the Norwegian coach admitted it might not be long before the forward is a regular feature in the Premier League.
“Very good. He can handle the ball, he has enjoyed training and makes a difference in training, which is quite remarkable at his age.
“There will need to be some adjustment to settle into the hustle and bustle of the physical part of the Premier League but I can’t see it being too long until he’s in the squad.
“It might be quicker than that [four to five weeks]. He has definitely settled down well, the players have taken to him and he is a very good character, very polite, smiley boy who works really hard.
“He’s doing his sessions, getting used to us. Of course, there’s always a period of adjustment needed but he’s settling in well.”
United will be without Paul Pogba against West Brom due to a thigh injury while centre-back Eric Bailly is fighting to return having not played since January 20.
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