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.
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 - an impressive overall record for the Bundesliga outfit of 27 goals in 51 games.
This season he has five from 11 - and bagged two of them in dramatic style yesterday - scoring two late strikes to secure a 3-3 draw against FC Nurnberg.
His first goal was truly remarkable, just for the build-up. Nurnberg had raced clear at the opposite end and a square pass from the right was cut out by Marcelo of Hannover clumsily. He then scrambled back helplessly watching the ball seemingly trickle toward goal.
But he got lucky as the ball rebounded back off the post and into the hands of the goalkeeper. He quickly dispatched the ball and Hannover went forward with intent, before a pass from the left went through to Diouf, with a suspicion of offside, to make it 2-3 with just three minutes to go. When we say a hint, we mean he was about a yard or two off - it isn’t just our linesman who get it wrong.
Then, in the 90th minute, with another former United starlet in goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler in the mix, a free-kick from Christian Pander found it’s way through to find Diouf. On the second time of asking he fired the ball past Raphael Schafer to claim the 3-3 draw to finish an exciting and ill-tempered affair.
He is out of contract in the summer and is being linked with a Premier League return. These type of performances will certainly help his cause.
image: © apasciuto