Manchester United's deal to sign Amad Diallo could tick close to the £40million mark if all the add-ons come to fruition.
You do not spend that much on a player you intend to keep in the Under-23s. So while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was understandably coy when speaking about Diallo in a recent press conference, the teenage winger's talents are not lost on him.
Solskjaer's 'project' at United has been all about youth, with the odd sprinkle of experience thrown in. The summer deadline day deals for Diallo, Facundo Pellistri and Edinson Cavani showed that transfer strategy in microcosm, though supporters are yet to see either of the two youngsters in first-team action. Patience could be the name of the game, but for how long?
"I've seen there's been lots of expectations on Amad and rightly so, an exciting player with fantastic attributes we look forward to developing and giving him the chance to succeed at Man United," said Solskjaer on Diallo, whose arrival from Atalanta was delayed until January. He only played four Serie A games for Atalanta, all as a substitute.
"It's important we give him that time to settle in, if it's in the 23s for his first few games, or if he looks so ready to go into the first team, I don't know yet."
Diallo and Cavani might have appeared poles apart in terms of their category of signing at United. One, 18, was brought in with the future in mind and the other, 34 next month, was a quick fix to to solve an urgent problem up front.
Yet they could now perform similar roles in Solskjaer's squad, in their respective positions. Because just as Cavani's natural centre-forward play has given United the extra dimension they needed in the No.9 role — amid Anthony Martial's struggles this season — Diallo could help solve the right-wing issue.
There was plenty of consternation when Diallo and Cavani were chosen as the signings instead of an elite right-wing player like Jadon Sancho in October.
Mason Greenwood has been designated United's premier right-winger for another season. And while he shone in that role for the second half of his debut campaign in the first team at Old Trafford, he has struggled of late. He looked short of confidence in the 2-1 win over Fulham and was predictably replaced by Marcus Rashford.
Perhaps the undue criticism he received has taken its toll, after a minor discretion while on England duty earlier in the season. Or perhaps he would rather be playing through the middle. Either way, one Premier League goal all season is a return that does not reflect Greenwood's immense talent.
Manchester United beat Fulham 2-1 thanks to goals from Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba.
Pogba once again turned in a high-class performance as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side reclaimed top spot in the Premier League. Now United turn their attention to another clash with rivals Liverpool, this time in the FA Cup fourth round.
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This is where Diallo comes in. Competition for places in a squad breeds one of two things: either the current incumbent steps up their game to retain a spot in the team (see Luke Shaw's form following the Alex Telles signing); or the new signing comes in and makes the position theirs (see Cavani).
Nobody is expecting Diallo to replicate what Sancho has achieved at Dortmund, or even hold down a temporary place in the United team in his debut year. But United rated him sufficiently enough to commit £37.1million to his talents, pending various achievements.
The odd substitute appearance on the right-flank cannot hurt, and would show Greenwood he has a genuine competitor in that position — aside from Martial, Rashford and Juan Mata, who have all been shoe-horned in there at various stages this season.
Now might be the time to double-down on their commitment to Amad Diallo. Greenwood might just be the man to reap the rewards if they do.