When Manchester United snapped up young Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf in May of 2009 it was seen as a speculative but potentially sterling piece of transfer business by Sir Alex Ferguson and co.
Hearing of the talented striker’s goalscoring exploits through former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, manager of Diouf’s at Norwegian side Molde FK, they made a move, signed him, then loaned him straight back to the Norwegian side.
His goalscoring record in Norway was superb; 45 goals in 86 appearances for the club.
But his time at United was always going to be attritional and in the end it proved fruitless.
Despite scoring on his home debut for the club against Burnley he always faced an uphill battle to get minutes in the Old Trafford side.
With the likes of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Cristiano Ronaldo and Javier Hernandez for competition it was always unlikely he was going to become a regular at the club.
And he quickly got back to his goalscoring exploits.
He bagged 10 goals in his first 15 games and last season was again in top form bagging 17 in 36; giving him an impressive overall record for the Bundesliga outfit of 27 goals in 51 games.
That sort of form in one of Europe’s most difficult leagues was always going to gain recognition and in recent weeks the 25-year-old has been linked with a move away from Hannover; with Premier League teams said to be joining the queue for the striker.
He was linked with Fulham in June and Newcastle United previously; while teams from Germany such as Bayer Leverkusen have also been credited with an interest.
But it seems he is ready to stay with his current club as general manager of Hannover Dirk Dufner confirmed yesterday:
His time at United may have been forgettable but it would have been great to see him back in the Premier League next season; to see if he could find the net on a regular basis when given the chance to play regular football on our shores.
But while that seems, for now at least, to be an unlikely prospect keep an eye on the scoring record of Diouf because if he continues at this rate it will only be a matter of time before someone tries to coax him back to England.
What are your memories of Diouf? Is he good enough for the Premier League?
image: © apasciuto