Amadou Diawara 19 Midfielder Napoli Guinea
Naturally talented defensive midfielder who spent the summer forcing his way into a move away from the club who had paid €600k for him just 12 months earlier. Was being lined up as the long-term replacement for Daniele De Rossi at Roma if you believe the press and it looks like that move was close at one point. However, after things got messy as Diawara refused to return to Bologna for pre-season a deal was eventually struck with his desired club, Napoli.
The fee/circumstances are slightly muddled, some saying it was a loan with a transfer to follow, others that it was a ‘definitive’ transfer whatever that means. Most reports now suggest the fee is something in the mid-teens millions wise and most also think that could turn out to be an excellent bit of value longer term.
2016 has been…
There’s no doubting the talent here, Diawara is a fine holding midfielder already and is clearly only going to improve in time. He plays with a maturity on the ball that defies his years, he looks absolutely at home playing against anyone you choose to give him and he does it all with a pleasing swagger and belief that we at IBWM approve of heartily. He’s aggressive too, sometimes a little overly so and eleven yellows and two red cards last season point to a lack of control but he’s 19, all the time in the world to learn.
However, while we’re still very impressed with this young man on the pitch, refusing to return for pre-season with Bologna, allowing his agent to speak in the press about what he felt were “poor” wages there and openly agitating for the move from a club who had nurtured him for a season having bought him from San Marino in 2014 makes us uncomfortable. We are absolutely behind young players taking moves to further their careers - football is a short life cycle and opportunity doesn’t always knock twice - but it got a bit unsightly in the summer, and we didn’t like it.
He has his move and has had a slightly slower start to his Napoli career than his Bologna one in truth, but perhaps that’s what’s needed. Time to settle, reflect, learn and enjoy life without worrying about what’s next. There are some obvious rough edges, and he needs to prove he knows where the goal is at some point, but there’s plenty to be excited about here. A young player who didn’t cover himself in glory over the summer getting his head down on the pitch for a bit will do us fine.
So to the mark and it’s a B for the consistent all action and classy displays last season with Bologna, but a mark off for what we’ll not talk about any longer other than to call it ‘the unpleasantness’. To complete what has become a complex equation he gets a plus for starting quite tidily at Napoli and (to date) avoiding a card too. A sign he’s willing to learn from his past? We hope so.
C+ Going to be an excellent, composed and stylish midfielder for a long time to come, as long as he concentrates
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