Who is our main character? A relatively unknown 18-year-old right-winger with remarkable technical equipment, unlikely to have the physical qualities to immediately sparkle in the Premier League, but signed for a lot of money at Manchester United.

In many ways, Amad Diallo's £ 19m visit to Old Trafford from Atalanta - an amount that could rise to £ 37.2m - is reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo's move from Sporting Lisbon in 2003.

While the Portuguese signed for £ 12.24 million after an impressive full debut season in Primeira, the Ivorian prodigy has only played for Atalanta four times in Serie A - none of the matches were in the starting lineup.

Amad Traore is already the creator of Serie A history. Coming as a substitute in the last 13 minutes of the meeting with Udinese at the end of October, he picked up the ball away from the goal, then moved forward and shot from a 20-meter distance from the box's edge completing the devastating victory for his team.

At the same time, Traore became the youngest player at the age of 17 years and 109 days to score in Serie A and the first player born in 2002 to score in the top Italian league.

"I don't know what to say. I want to pinch myself - that was my childhood dream," he said later. "During the game, I prayed to take to the field."

Sure, he scored a great goal in his debut against Udinese, but that didn't convince coach Gian Piero Gasperini to give him more practice.

What, then, makes Diallo so unique in the eyes of Manchester United scouts? The coaches who have worked closely with him and the journalists who have followed his development speak of a striker with phenomenal attacking potential, a player who is disciplined, dedicated, and too determined to reach the top.

"Amad has the same DNA as the ball itself," L'Eco di Bergamo correspondent Giulio Guidotti, who follows the Atalanta youth team, told BBC Sport.

It is probably what his parents felt very early on. Diallo was born in Abidjan, the largest city in Côte d'Ivoire, and moved to Italy with his brother to develop talents and become a professional footballer.

The first significant stop at the age of 12 was at Boca Barco, a tiny amateur club from Emilia in the north of the country between Parma and Bologna, named after the Argentine Boca Juniors.

"We didn't find Amad, and he just came to us. It was a great success," said Denis Cerlini, who coached Diallo in Boca Barco's youth team.

"Amad Diallo made an impact right after joining Boca Barco. From the very first moment, it was obvious that this guy was special. He was fearless and fast, had excellent technique and strong punch, and performed everything with astonishing speed.

Amad was popular in the locker room. He made many friends, learned Italian, and seemed like a very determined guy who knew exactly what he wanted. "

Diallo played a major role in one of the tournaments and was soon noticed by Giovanni Galli, the former goalkeeper of Fiorentina, Milan, and Napoli. The latter played for Italy in the 1986 World Cup.

"A friend asked me to take a look at two guys - Amad and his older brother Hamed, who now plays for Sassuolo. At the time, I was working in Lucchese in the third division and invited them to watch with our youth," recalls Galli.

"I quickly realized that they were just too good for us. Amad played with the bigger boys and drove them crazy with his dribbling. So I made a few calls to Serie A clubs to tell them about the guys. In Atalanta, I spoke with the sporting director Gabriele Zamanyi, and they signed with Amad. "

Since arriving in Bergamo in 2015, Diallo has been one of the academy's preeminent players. He won the league title as the main star of the under 15 team, even though he was only 13 years old.

Rising quickly to Primavera's (Under 19) level, he continued to amaze and won the 2019 league title there.

Gasperini invited the rising star to train with the senior squad, and his new teammates were impressed. As their captain Papu Gomez explained, they didn't like acting against him. "Every Thursday, we played with the youth squad, and it was tough to stop Diallo. He is just like Leo Messi, and we had to play hard against him.

"Amad is very resourceful and forward-looking, his dribbling skills are great, and he is also a team player," says Corriere Della Sport journalist Andrea Losapio.

"He can play anywhere offensively, and his interaction with Dejan Kulusevski in Primavera, now a Juventus player, has been outstanding."
"Diallo is one of the most interesting footballers of his age," adds Tuttosport correspondent Giordano Signorelli.

"He was not scared on his Serie A debut, and he played very well in his first Champions League match against Midtjylland last month."

"He is extremely gifted technically, but he lacks some physical qualities. I believe that he can overcome these problems if he works on them."

His lack of physics seems to be an aspect that Diallo and Manchester United need to keep in mind.

"Physically, Amad was not the strongest in Boca Barco, and his heading ability leaves a lot to be desired," says Cerlini.

"He has to put on a few pounds to survive in the Premier League," adds Galli.

These are the same doubts that surrounded Ronaldo in 2003, and this transfer was extremely successful.

The head coach of Manchester United speaks very well of Traor, believing that he will receive due development in the "red devils" camp.

Manchester United have been following Amad for several years. Having watched him personally, I think he is one of the most exciting young promising players in football.

We are proud of our history of developing young footballers. We have all the conditions for Amad to realize his potential here.

It will take time for him to adapt, but his speed, field vision, and fantastic dribbling will help him. He has all the necessary qualities to become a key player for Manchester United in the coming years.