Amad could solve Manchester United transfer demand with new role vs Leeds

Man Utd begin their pre-season schedule today with a friendly against Leeds United in Oslo and it’s the start of big summer for Amad.

A chance to shake off the excesses of the summer and ease back into something approximating competitive football, the first preseason friendly of the summer is typically little more than a glorified kick-about.

Ahead of the opening weekend of the Premier League season, which is still more than a month away, none of the Manchester United team members who have traveled to Oslo for today’s preseason encounter with Leeds anticipate to play for longer than 45 minutes.

But the easy routine of these mid-July games is generally most applicable to those senior players whose status for next season is confirmed. For the younger members of United’s travelling party opportunity knocks and for Amad, this is the starting gun on what is almost a trial period to earn a first-team spot for next season.

It’s too early for judgements just yet, but you can be sure Erik ten Hag and his coaches are already running the rule over the forward at Carrington. Contributions in training will be just as valuable as performances in friendlies this summer for Amad, who turned 21 yesterday.

His predicament is comparable to that of James Garner, who, a year ago, returned from a tremendously successful Championship loan with the goal of squeezing into Ten Hag’s plans. Despite being injured, he failed to make an impact on the first-team roster and was ultimately sold to Everton.

Amad has a bigger potential ceiling than Garner when he returns to Old Trafford. Three years ago, United spent €20 million on the winger, and Atalanta may ultimately be owed €21 million in add-ons. At that time, he was one of the most well regarded young people in Europe.

There is also a potential spot for him in Ten Hag’s squad, with no obvious backup or competition for Antony. Amad is naturally a left-footed right-winger and could fulfil that role.

His versatility could also be an asset. He started nine games as a centre-forward for Sunderland last season, showing at 5ft 8ins that he could adapt to leading the line in a league as physical in the Championship. With fitness doubts persisting over Anthony Martial, Amad’s early introduction into pre-season games could yet involve some cameos through the middle, especially with Marcus Rashford yet to return to training.

It’s certainly not Amad’s best position, but his experience playing across the forward line could enhance his chances of prospering under Ten Hag.

But very few of the club’s young players have Amad’s potential. Regardless of the position he plays, he will be determined to demonstrate this in preseason, starting against Leeds today.

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