For the past few weeks, Amadou Diawara has been listed as one of the top Viola targets for this mercato. Moreover, he's attracted quite a bit of international attention as well after a strong season for Bologna. All this, though, has left most bystanders wondering, "Who the heck is this guy and why does everybody want to sign him?" Well, we've got your answers right here.
The 19 year old midfielder was born in Conakry, Guinea, and signed his first professional contract with local outfit Syli Authentic in 2010 before moving to FC Séquence 2 years later. 2 years after that, he was snapped up by San Marino in Serie D, who turned around and sold him to a Pantaleo Corvino-inspired Bologna for just €600,000 a year later. He made 35 appearances (32 starts) last year in his inaugural season with the Rossoblu, racking up 11 yellow cards, 2 red cards, and an assist. He's a tireless grafter in the middle who's got a knack for breaking up opposing attacks with a timely interception (tied for 4th most in Serie A per 90 minutes last season), and he's the sort of reliable passer who maintains possession rather than trying to play the killer pass. More than any of these qualities, though, is the fact that he's improved astronomically in the past 2 years, and shows no signs of slowing down. It's this potential that has everyone so excited.
Everyone chases potential, of course, which is why Bologna have reportedly set a price of €15 million for his services, and intend to stand pretty firmly by it. New manager Marco di Vaio has explicitly said the youngster isn't for sale, and although club management have taken a rather softer stance, they've already rejected several bids from Italy and Spain around the €10 million range. Nevertheless, Valencia and Sevilla are both in talks with the Rossoblu to bring him to La Liga. Even so, this is a kid Pantaleo Corvino obviously likes, so don't rule out a last-minute deal. Further thickening the plot is the fact that Bologna are openly pursuing Giuseppe Rossi, who'd make quite a catch in exchange. Either way, Amadou Diawara could be a future star, so keep his name in the back of your mind.