According to respected African football journalist Micky Jr, Manchester United are keeping close tabs on Al Ahly midfielder Aliou Dieng.
Aliou Dieng, 23, joined Al Ahly from Algerian club MC Algiers in the summer of 2019 and has since impressed the Egyptian Premier League. In fact, he has racked up 76 appearances for Al Ahly in a very short span of time.
The Malian international’s performances have caught the eye of Manchester United, who are waiting for confirmation from CAF to travel to Egypt and scout him in the CAF Champions League semi-final between Al Ahly against Esperance Tunis on Saturday.
Manchester United have progressed slowly but steadily under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as they finished second in the last campaign, 12 points behind champions Manchester City. However, they are yet to sign a player in the ongoing summer transfer window, with Solskjaer aiming to strengthen his first-team squad.
Having not won a trophy yet as the manager of Manchester United, the 48-year-old Norwegian is under pressure ahead of his third campaign. The club is yet to hand him a new contract but Solskjaer remains keen to build upon the foundations of last year and realistically challenge for the Premier League title in the 2021/22 season.
Solskjaer has made the signing of a defensive midfielder one of his priorities
In addition to signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, there is a desire from the Red Devils’ side to bring in a defensive midfielder, a right-back and another striker. Realistically, there’s a slim chance that would happen in this transfer window as the club’s finances have been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As far as the midfield department is concerned, Solskjaer has excellent options at his disposal. But the United boss wants to address the defensive midfield position this summer, with Nemanja Matic entering the final stages of his career.
Fred and Scott McTominay have worked well in the double-pivot in Solskjaer’s system, especially in bigger games, but they are both generally needed to do the job that one top-class defensive midfielder could do.
With the Red Devils already possessing the creative talents of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in midfield, signing a central defensive midfielder this summer would address a major problem in Solskjaer’s squad.
Aliou Dieng on the Red Devils’ radar
In that regard, Aliou Dieng is a player that United are interested in and will subsequently scout him during the upcoming weekend’s game.
Dieng fits the profile of a defensive midfielder Solskjaer is desperately looking out for in the transfer market. The Malian international is a strong and powerful midfielder who not only excels in disrupting the opposition attacks but also contributes going forward.
He has registered three goals and seven assists in 76 games for Al Ahly and is confident on the ball. Dieng would be a good fit for Solskjaer’s United, who need an upgrade on an ageing Matic. The 23-year-old would give the Red Devils’ defence extra protection as well as balance in midfield, whilst allowing the likes of Pogba and Fernandes to play their natural game.
At 23, Dieng is at the right age to make the step up to a bigger club. A move to Old Trafford would be the stuff of dreams, and if he quickly adapts to the rigours of Premier League football, the Malian international could turn out to be a smart signing for United.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.