Midfielder | Club Brugge | Senegal
A winger with searing pace who loves to run with the ball may not be original, but it’s most certainly effective. Krepin Diatta is exactly that kind of player. The jet-heeled teenager looks keen to spend all day charging for the by-line before whipping a cut-back across the box for a teammate to run onto.
The pacy wide-man is a well-stocked genre though, so it takes remarkable technical quality and the ability to regularly contribute with end product to stand out in this crowded field at the very highest level.
Diatta has some way to go before his game can be considered so complete, but time is very much on his side. A January move to Club Brugge, despite apparent interest from Manchester United, should prove to have been a wise one. At least he spend 2018 playing in Belgium - and not for Jose Mourinho.
Perhaps the switch to Old Trafford will one day come. Whilst still a Sarpsborg player, Diatta confirmed he’d had contact with United scouts, and said such a move would be “a dream come true” . It surely would be, but as he stated after his switch to Brugge was confirmed, “going to Belgium is good for me to advance my career and take it to the next level.”
2018 has been…
…a slow burner. After joining Brugge on January 3rd, he had to wait until April to make his debut for the club. Since the start of the new campaign though, aside from a bout on the sidelines following a concussion, Diatta has featured fairly frequently for Ivan Leko’s side.
However, that aforementioned end product - of such vital importance - has not followed suit. In 15 outings - 12 of them starts - for his new club, Diatta has managed to score no goals and has mustered just the one assist. Diatta will likely find that it’s hard to progress beyond his current level in the game until he can be relied upon to regularly contribute in a more tangible manner in the final third.
The Senegalese wide-man must make himself a regular starter in Belgium. If he can do that, then he will get more opportunities to increase his confidence and efficiency in front of goal. The ultimate aim is for him to become a more rounded player.
At just 19, he has plenty of time to add these all-important final touches to his game, but further progress - in terms of game time, international involvement and a switch to a major European league - will be restricted until he does so. In some senses that may be a good thing, remaining in a league where he’ll get regular game time is surely preferable to padding out the reserves at a giant club. Now he just has to make that game time really count.