RIO FERDINAND has tipped Manchester United new boy Amad Diallo to become a 'world beater'.
The Red Devils confirmed the £37million transfer of the 18-year-old from Atalanta as their first January signing last week.
Diallo made just five appearances for the Italian outfit but Ferdinand believes the winger has the potential to follow in Cristiano Ronaldo's footsteps.
The ex-United defender said on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE: "We've just bought a kid in from Atalanta and hopefully he does something.
"If you see his clips and speak to people at the club who are involved in buying him, potentially this kid could be a world beater.
"That is the thought of Manchester United people that this kid is one they have unearthed."
Ferdinand added: "I don't want to put the pressure of Ronaldo on him, but no-one knew about Ronaldo when we bought him other than the people in Portugal.
"This kid seems similar in that sense and if you see his clips and the way people talk about him, the world is his oyster if he applies himself right."
Ronaldo transformed his body to cope with the demands of Premier League football after joining United from Sporting Lisbon at the age of 18 in 2003.
The Portuguese went on to become the top flight's most-feared player before earning an £80million transfer to Real Madrid in 2009.
And Diallo's former coach at childhood club Boca Barco, Denis Cerlini, believes the United new boy will need to hit the gym like Ronaldo.
Cerlini told BBC Sport: “Physically, Amad wasn't the strongest at Boca Barco, and his heading abilities aren't good.
“He must add a few kilograms of weight in order to survive in the Premier League.”
United and Atalanta agreed the deal before last summer's transfer window closed but Diallo stayed put for the first half of the season while work permits, personal terms and a medical were finalised.
The teenager has signed a contract until 2025, with the club having option of a further year.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is convinced Diallo will become an 'important player' in the years to come.
After the deal was concluded, the United boss said: "As a club, we have followed Amad for a number of years and having watched him myself, I believe he is one of the most exciting young prospects in the game.
"Manchester United has such a proud history of developing young players and everything is in place to enable Amad to reach his potential here."
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