Amadou Diawara became Roma's second signing of the summer so far, when his switch from Napoli was confirmed on Monday morning.
Learn a bit more about the young midfielder...
1. Amadou Diawara was born on 17 July 1997 in Conakry, the capital of Guinea.
2. Diawara has always had a huge passion for football, despite his parents’ dreams of another kind of life for him. He began playing thanks in part to the help of his sister, Sira, who bought his first boots and watched him in his early adventures on pitch.
“I had to take showers at a friends after games,” he revealed in a recent interview. Despite the objections of his father, a maths teacher, Diawara would continue to pursue his passion.
3. Diawara’s talent soon caught the attention of interested parties – including Numeku Tounkara, the African talent scout who advised agent Robert Visan that Diawara was a player with “the feet of a Brazilian”. Such an endorsement saw Diawara brought to Italy, where he signed on at the Pantaleo Corvino Academy.
4. Diawara did not arrive with much in the way of luggage. “When Amadou got here he had only a t-shirt and a pair of jeans,” the sporting director at San Marino, the club he joined from the Italian academy, said. “With his first payslip he bought some shoes.”
Diawara was still a teenager but he began starting for the Lega Pro side, making 15 appearances – and quickly attracted the attention of Italy’s bigger clubs with the quality of his displays on the pitch at such a young age.
5. In the summer of 2015 Diawara made the switch to Serie A with Bologna, who took a chance on his obvious talent. He made his debut that August, against Lazio, but really established himself when Roberto Donadoni became coach later that season – becoming a regular starter as the club avoided relegation.
6. In his first season in Serie A, Diawara won the ball back 258 times in total – sixth among all players in Serie A. He also intercepted 91 passes, fourth in the league for that statistic.
7. Based on that influence on the pitch, in the summer of 2016 it was Napoli who won the race to sign Diawara. Under Maurizio Sarri the midfielder made 28 appearances in his first season at the club and then 27 in the second, with a goal against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium perhaps the highlight in that span.
He was in and out of the team at times - but seemed to especially thrive in the cup competitions, with Sarri often calling upon him in Europe. “He plays in the Champions League like it was a Thursday night five-a-side match,” Sarri once said.
8. Right now Diawara is on international duty with Guinea at the Africa Cup of Nations. He made his debut for his country in October 2018 in his hometown, Conakry, against Rwanda.
9. Diawara wore the No. 21 shirt at Bologna, but took the No. 42 at Napoli because of his hero, Yaya Toure. “My dream is to play with him,” he once said.
10. Diawara can be followed on Instagram: @ama.diawara.42.