Loan Watch: Amad Diallo vs Ross County

Amad Diallo completed his loan move from Manchester United to Rangers on Thursday, yet was in the starting line up to face Ross County the following Saturday. His debut got off to the perfect start with him scoring the opening goal in the fifth minute of the match.

It was a moment where we were able to see the 19-year-old’s off-ball ability, where he timed his run towards the back post perfectly, and remained on the full-back’s blindside throughout, ultimately making the chance a simple tap-in.

Despite Ross County turning the game around before the interval due to two defensive mistakes from the The Gers, Amad continued to show his class throughout the first half.

His calmness in possession was impressive to see. He received the ball under pressure on multiple occasions, but his ability to have a solid first touch and then be able to find the right pass allowed him to keep possession.

When he received the ball in advanced positions, the United loanee looked to make things happen. Minutes before the half-time whistle, we saw the very best of Amad’s skill and quality on the right, where he was able to take the ball past one player with an exquisite piece of skill. He then cut inside, and with a crowd in front of him, he looked to play a quick one-two with Scott Arfield, but the Canadian could not find the return pass to the exciting winger.

The physical side of the Scottish league was also on show, with Amad being fouled twice in aggressive fashion. It will undoubtedly be the first two of many this season too.

It was an early equaliser for Rangers in the second half, and while it was not a direct contrinution from Amad, the goal came from his brilliance on the right, as well as the fact he was holding the wdith on the right well.

With the ball circulating in the middle, Amad called for it in space on the touchline, but did not receive. He, however, held his position and then eventually received. After isolating the full-back, he cut inside on his left foot and struck a powerful low effort towards goal, forcing Ashley Maynard-Brewer into a solid save.

But it wasn’t enough by the host’s goalkeeper, with James Tavernier finishing the follow up to tie things up in the match. It would’ve been easy for Amad to drift inside after not receiving the ball ,but he continued to hug the touchline, which allowed him to isolate his man moments later.

Again, Amad was able to isolate his full-back minutes later and open a shooting angle after cutting inside. A strong shot was deflected just wide of the post, but Amad’s conviction and quality in those one-vs-one situations was a joy to watch.

Unfortunately, a slight knock mid-way through the second period brought Amad’s game to an end. It was an exciting debut, despite the teenager only having 38 touches in the game.

He showed some important skills when off-the-ball, but when he was in possession Amad looked a cut above the rest, and every Rangers fan will be hoping that the substitution was a precaution, because he was able to show a glimpse of his talents throughout his first encounter of Scottish Premiership football.

Rangers thought that they were able to complete the comeback after Amad’s departure from the field, with Connor Goldson heading in from close-range on 73 minutes. However, another blunder from Allan McGregor in the last minute gifted 19-year-old substitute Matthew Wright the opportunity to secure a point for the hosts.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst‘s men face Celtic on Wednesday evening in the much anticipated Old Firm derby in which Amad will hopefully be fit for. Rangers currently sit top of the table, but after dropping two points this afternoon, Celtic could close the gap to just two points with a victory against Dundee United later today.

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