When Manchester United snapped up a young Senegalese striker by the name of Mame Biram Diouf in 2009 it was with the hope of him becoming a future star in the first team. Brought in after firing in the goals in Norway with Molde FK he was given the number 32 previously worn by Carlos Tevez and great things were expected.
After an initial loan back to Molde he made his debut in January 2010. Things looked good at first for the striker after he bagged a goal on his home debut against Burnley and went into a somersault in front of the Stretford End.
But first-team opportunities were few and far between which saw him loaned out to Blackburn Rovers in an attempt to accommodate into the English game and discover if he had what it takes to become a United regular.
Again things started well there when he scored a hat-trick on his full debut but he obviously didn’t do enough to impress the United hierarchy and in January 2012 he was flogged to Bundesliga outfit Hannover 96; and he hasn’t looked back.
Since arriving at the German outfit he has managed to net 26 times in 49 games; a very healthy strike rate indeed for a league as competitive as the Bundesliga.
Such form has even seen him linked with Borussia Dortmund as part of ‘plan replace Lewandowski’ that is now in session.
But now the front runners for his signature appear to be VfL Wolfsburg. It has not been an entirely successful season at the Volkswagen Arena; languishing in mid-table for much of the campaign they have not really had much to shout about in Lower Saxony.
Plans are already in place for the wealthy side to start re-investing in the squad and give another tilt at European qualification next year and Diouf is a main target in that process.
However a quick deal is not in the pipe-line. According to Bild the two Saxon clubs have very different views on his price. Wolfsburg are willing to go as high as €8 million for the 25-year-old while Hannover are instead looking for a figure closer to €10 - giving us something of a Saxon stand-off.
One thing that is for sure; he has come a long way since Old Trafford.
Where do you think Diouf would be better off? Dortmund or Wolfsburg?
image: © apasciuto