Amad should take Jose Mourinho's advice for youngsters at Manchester United after Jadon Sancho transfer

Amad might struggle to start in the Man United practice matches next month but his situation does not demand a loan move.


Jadon Sancho is not in England's first or second front three and his expected presence in the Carrington dressing room could push Amad out of Manchester United's first and second front threes.

The practice games next month could pit Sancho, Rashford and Cavani against James, Martial and Greenwood, and only Sancho and Martial will have cost United more. James's final fee still comes under Amad's up-front price of £19million.

James appeared to be signed to occupy the right flank but proved on his first appearance in Perth he was better on the left. The left-footed Amad was developed as an inverted right winger at Atalanta.

"Well that’s his preferred position," Ole Gunnar Solskjaer noted in January. "He is good at finding space, he can go inside and outside and he will get the time to prove that he is the one.

"Along the way we have got Mason, Marcus, Dan, Juan, Paul has played there, so we have options but I think when you look at the squad and you look at Amad and you think, 'yeah that’s probably where we will work to fit you in'."

United have plenty of other pieces to fit in: Facundo Pellistri, the other right winger signed for €9m on the same day as Amad, and Jesse Lingard. By the time you are reading this, Juan Mata may no longer be a United player and he (has?) spent most of his career at the club on the right-hand side.

Amad was in his element linking up with Shola Shoretire, Anthony Elanga and Hannibal Mejbri in the Under-23s, a level that was beneath him. Solskjaer started Amad twice - in the mass rotation dead-rubbers against Leicester and Wolves. He was a spectator when he could have been a game-changer in certain matches (Crystal Palace and Villarreal).

An impressively improvised headed goal against AC Milan and dogged assist for Greenwood against Leicester marked a positive first three months. That continued with a first international goal, a fabulous free-kick to secure victory for the Ivory Coast against Burkina Faso in added time, when Eric Bailly crowd surfed on Amad's young shoulders.

Amad has been sculpting his scrawny body in the gym ahead of returning for pre-season along with the rest of United's non-internationals. Mason Greenwood has been out jogging in Hale and Elanga, frail on his debut alongside against Leicester but emboldened by his goalscoring breakthrough against Wolves, is now built like Captain America.

The black and white of practice match teamsheets exclude the shades of grey. Rashford is hampered by a shoulder and an ankle injury, Martial is unreliable and James had a handful of good games in his second season. Cavani restricts himself to one game per week and Greenwood is not regarded as a winger. Lingard has not been in Solskjaer's plans for nearly a year and Pellistri is almost an afterthought.

Amad and Mejbri warm up at Leigh
Amad and Mejbri warm up at Leigh

Whenever the next Premier League managers' meeting is, Solskjaer should be lobbying for expanded benches of 12 substitutes. The increase to nine substitutes post-restart was insufficient and international tournaments have permitted 23-man matchday squads for decades, a privilege shared by the Serie A and Bundesliga clubs, as well as those in the Champions League.

With the closing date of the transfer window moved back to late August, some players are going to come down with a case of itchy feet. Almost everyone is fit and a row of the Old Trafford directors' box is certain to be reserved for players in their Paul Smith suits or tracksuits.

"When I look to Memphis, Carrick, Jones, all these guys I don't select. I am desperate for September," Jose Mourinho bemoaned in August 2016. Depay left in January, but by then Jones and Carrick were first-teamers. Mourinho rebuked Andreas Pereira for embarking on a late loan after he was omitted from the first three squads in August 2017. "He has the potential to be fighting for a position, fighting for opportunities and fighting to be a Manchester United player."

Should Amad go on loan? Have your say in the comments.

September offers midweek matches in the League Cup and the Champions League. Rest and rotation is as inevitable as injuries and opportunities emerge and there is an omen for Amad: United have started and ended with a different front three in the last three Augusts.

Comments