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, at the time Diouf’s manager at Norwegian outfit Molde FK, they snapped up the player.
His goalscoring record in Norway was superb - 45 goals in 86 appearances for the club.
However, his time at United would be tough. 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.
Since then he has not looked back - bagging 10 goals in his first 15 games. Last season he 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.
One such team has been Stoke City. Mark Hughes is keen to add to his attacking options and has been linked with a £6 million bid for the player.
Which would put him about £11 million off the valuation his current club have for his services, because Hannover say they want €20 million (roughly £17 million) for the player:
“If Stoke City offer 20million euros, we would think about it. But I don’t think this is very realistic.”
But there is hope - his contract expires next summer.
image: © apasciuto