by Tom Lees - 7th February 2016
Young Assane Dioussé El Hadji is a name that will be in many football gossip columns during the next few transfer windows, as the teenage midfielder looks set to become one of the most sought after players in the game. The 18-year-old Senegalese has broken into the Empoli first team this season, and his displays have reportedly already attracted the interest of AC Milan, Chelsea and Tottenham. Further interest across Europe will increase as the youngster gains more experience at Empoli, and it is only a matter of time before he is wearing the colours of a much bigger team, no disrespect to Empoli intended.
Assane Dioussé was born in Dakar, Senegal, but left his homeland in 2010 and moved to Italy aged just 13 with his father. He would join up with the Empoli youth academy where he developed his abilities before making his debut for the Azzurri in August 2015. He has quickly established himself as a regular in the Empoli first team and his performances have belied his tender years and lack of experience. Dioussé is highly passionate about his homeland and Senegalese football, but as of yet he has not featured for his national team at any level.
A midfielder very much in the Claude Makélélé mould, small of stature, good on the ball and with a focus on breaking up then creating play. His game is not about being the star name, rather than being the engine which drives the stars forward, a role that he is already showing he has the attributes to perfect. A great passer of the ball, quick over the ground, strong in the tackle, a hard working team player and with great game intelligence, Dioussé has the talents to go to the very top. Despite his small frame he is physically strong, can be classy in possession and feisty without the ball. Primarily his best position is that of a holding midfielder in front of the defensive line, but can also be utilised more centrally when needed. He has strong self-belief in his talents, but has kept his feet on the ground, remaining humble despite the accolades he has received, preferring to concentrate on playing the sport he loves so much.
Assane Dioussé is quickly building a reputation for himself in Serie A, and with each appearance that reputation is reaching further and further afield. The player himself will welcome such interest while continuing to perform for Empoli, as reported by galsenfoot.com in an interview conducted in September 2015, Dioussé admitted he dreams of playing at a higher level and that his favourite club sides are Barcelona and Inter Milan. Whether or not he will go on to have the talents to represent either of those giant clubs remains to be seen, but Dioussé definitely has the potential to go right to the very top. The next few seasons will be pivotal as to the direction his career goes in, as it stands Empoli is the perfect arena for his talent to grow, where he goes from there will be interesting to see. Assane Dioussé El Hadji may not be a name on everybody’s radar just yet, a relative unknown in the World of footballing wonderkids, but a wonderkid he is, and if he continues his current rate of progression he could end up being one of the best of a generation.