Bamba Dieng, Marseille
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Bamba Dieng, Marseille's shooting Senegalese star

Publish on 13/09/2021 at 22:26

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Bamba Dieng fired himself into the popular consciousness with his brace for Olympique de Marseille against AS Monaco on Saturday, but what else is there to know about the 21-year-old Senegalese striker?

OM fans worrying what Jorge Sampaoli would do with talisman Dimitri Payet suspended and Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik injured had those fears allayed and then some at the Stade Louis II.

 

After his 23-miniute brace, the aforementioned superstars might find it difficult to get back into Marseille's first XI. Ligue1.com takes a closer look at the player hoping to keep them out...

 

Back story:

 

Born in Pikine, to the east of Senegal's capital Dakar in March 2000, Dieng made the two-hour journey east to Diourbel to join ASC Sonacos' youth set-up at the age of 10. He was soon recognised as one of the brightest young talents in the country and at 14 was signed by Diambars FC - Senegal's preeminent youth academy which was co-founded by Patrick Vieira, Bernard Lama and Jean-Marc Adjovi-Bocco the year Dieng was born.

 

Dieng shot through the age groups with Diambars and was already pencilled in for their first team at 17, but a serious foot injury set him back a year. He wasted little time once he had recovered, though, helping les Guerriers to top-flight promotion in 2019 before plundering 12 goals in just 14 games before the Senegal Premier League came to a halt due to COVID-19.

 

Marseille - who have a partnership with Diambars - soon came knocking.


Watch: A star is born - Dieng's deadly double

 

 

Style of play:

 

Standing 5'8"-tall, Dieng has an electric turn of pace - as evidenced on Saturday - as well as the confidence to finish with both feet. He had been threatening to score a goal per his modus operandi before he raced onto Luan Peres' pass to open the scoring in the 37th minute, but his second showed how complete he may be, rolling the hulking Axel Disasi in the box before converting from close quarters. That he counts Sadio Mané and Alexis Sanchez among his footballing idols would seem to make sense.

 

Current campaign:

 

Originally planned for Marseille's reserve squad, Dieng was given his chance with the first steam at the start of the year when former academy director Nasser Larguet was in temporary charge following André Villas-Boas's departure. He was handed his debut against AJ Auxerre in the third round of the Coupe de France, replacing Valère Germain for the final 10 minutes, and he got his name on the scoresheet before time was up.

 

Dieng got off the bench for the final minute of the opening day 3-2 win at Montpellier Hérault SC, but it is difficult to imagine he would have been given the chance to lead the line against Monaco had Payet and Milik been available. But he seized his chance, and how.

 

What they said:

 

"I'm very happy with the performance. I thank the team and the coach for trusting me. I was told to calm down after hitting both posts. I calmed down and then I scored!"

 

- Dieng after his maiden Ligue 1 Ubers Eats goals.

 

"No, I wasn't surprised, otherwise I wouldn't have put him on. I put him on because I thought he might hurt the opponent. He has a lot of explosiveness and a good quality of shot. He's a player with great potential for the club."

 

- Sampaoli on throwing Dieng in at the deep end.

 

"Alexis Sanchez! I love Alexis. When I was much younger, I could already see myself in him… I was small in size like him."

 

- Dieng on his footballing idols.