Those attributes were similar to what Ronaldo brought to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon in 2003. Like Diallo, Ronaldo was 18 when he made the move to the North West of England and Ferdinand is hopeful of seeing the player make a similar impact to the now five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“We’ve just bought a kid in from Atalanta and hopefully he does something,” the former Manchester United defender said on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE podcast. “If you see his clips and speak to people at the club who are involved in buying him, potentially this kid could be a world-beater.
“That is the thought of Manchester United people that this kid is one they have unearthed.”
Mentioning Diallo in the same breath as Ronaldo is a bold call, but Ferdinand feels there are similarities to when the club brought a relatively unknown teenager to the club from Portuguese side Sporting CP.
“I don’t want to put the pressure of Ronaldo on him, but no-one knew about Ronaldo when we bought him other than the people in Portugal,” Ferdinand said. “This kid seems similar in that sense and if you see his clips and the way people talk about him, the world is his oyster if he applies himself right.”