Amad sends a message to Erik ten Hag after the Sunderland loanee hinted at becoming a Man Utd star

Manchester United winger Amad has been named EFL Young Player of the Month as he continues his excellent loan spell at Sunderland, where he has scored seven times.

Amadi’s left foot is sweeter than a dessert trolley – and the on-loan Sunderland winger caps Mackemie’s wake-up call.

At Valo Stadium, it is believed that the worst is over and the good times are coming back. And Amad, the EFL Young Player of the Month, is currently the mustache of the Black Cats.

Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Fulham will give Sunderland fans a chance to dream of Manager Bob Stokoe running across Wembley in his raincoat and trilby hugging goalkeeper Jim Montgomery, Ian Porterfield’s volley and Bobby Kerr lifting the famous old pot 50 years ago.

But in the bigger picture, where the race for the play-off places in the Championship is as regular as a pillow fight in the St Trinian’s dormitories, Tony Mowbray’s side look well equipped to finish above the dotted line when the lights go out.

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And despite talk of sleeping giants waking up on a road where red and white cough drops give way to black and white barcodes, Mowbray’s fine season on Wearside will be delivered on a budget, not an endless amount of Saudi Arabian bulk.

Amad, 20, has seen youngsters Alejandro Garnacho and Facundo Pellistri make first team appearances for parent club Manchester United.

Now Black Cats boss Mowbray is tipping the Ivory Coast forward to make their mark at Old Trafford following Amadi’s seven goals this season – including one stealing the show in last weekend’s Wear-Tees derby with Middlesbrough.

A United signing from Atalanta for £19m plus £18m in add-ons in January 2021, Amadi’s loan spell at Rangers 12 months ago was a qualified success and he featured in their Scottish FA Cup final against Hearts.

And Sunderland’s 40,000-plus crowd will be very pleased with the prospect, who believes his talent belongs on the big stage.

On his EFL gong, Amad said: “Winning this award means a lot to me because I always try to give my best on the pitch. This type of recognition gives me a lot of confidence to improve, but I also have to thank my teammates because they help me a lot.

“This loan is what I wanted and I will try to make the most of my time here. I enjoy being part of the club and enjoy every game.

The relentless hamster wheel of the Championship is no place for players with superiority complexes who are relegated from the Premier League in the condescending air of prefects who do poor pupils a favour.

Amadi’s attitude has been a revelation and he has taken to the physical demands like a duck in orange sauce, saying: “It’s a tough league and there are a lot of good teams. It’s very physical, but the level is high and every team has players who can make an impact.

“Hopefully we will continue to play well and I will score more goals to help the team improve so we can continue to climb the table – I think we will improve every game and hopefully we can push for the Premier League.

“It’s really nice to play in front of so many supporters every week. I’m sure the experience of playing at the Stadium of Light can help me in my career in the future.

Mowbray is convinced he is on his way to the top, saying: “Amad has the ability to play in Manchester United’s first XI. The ball sticks to his feet, he sees every pass and his belief and personality are growing.

“I bet he will get opportunities when he returns to Old Trafford next summer.” Since he was on the fringes, one of a handful of young signings when I came in, he’s almost earned the right to play every minute of every game over the last two months – and that’s because of his talent.

“He’s always a threat to the opposition – defenders dangle their legs and he dances past them. He’s scored a few goals from outside the penalty area and he links up well with other forwards.

“With all due respect to Sunderland, we’re in the Championship and we’re looking to improve – if he’s playing at Man United, he’s got to try and win the Champions League, the Premier League, it’s a level higher.

“But the talent is there. I was successful in the Champions League with Celtic and I know he never loses talent because the ball is stuck on his left foot. He never gives it away in tight areas, so he can play there without a doubt.

“The question is whether the personaaaaaaaaaality matures and believes that he can play on that stage. If he can get that and feel comfortable in that environment, he has the ability to be successful there.

“I see that belief growing in him every day – but that’s our environment. He expects to play here and understands he’s an important player in our team. Five months ago he was just another young lad introduced to the fans, doing 20 minutes here and there.

“Now I’d have trouble picking a team without him, he’s one of the first names on the team sheet. That’s how he’s grown.”

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