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At the match in Monaco, Bamba Dieng revealed himself to the world. On his first start in Ligue 1, the 21-year-old Senegalese striker scored a double. The birth certificate of a future football great, pure product of the Diambars Institute of Saly, Senegal.
Exhausted, cramping, exhausted … but new hero of the Olympian people. Such was the triumphant exit of Bemba Dieng at the 67e minute of Monaco-Marseille (0-2), Saturday 11 September, for his first start in Ligue 1. The young Senegalese striker scored a double to defeat the Mediterranean opponent of OM and produced an exemplary performance, which caught the eye of observers.
Without his master to play Dimitri Payet, Marseille did not have all his offensive arguments for this move to the Principality. Never mind ! Jorge Sampaoli, the Argentine coach of OM, took the 21-year-old Senegalese out of his hat and gave him the keys to the attack.
Great good took him: throughout the match, he manhandled with great pleasure his direct opponents, Chrislain Matsima and Axel Disasi. Two posts, two goals and countless accelerations… Bamba Dieng did not miss his chance and even left with the man of the match trophy.
“I am very happy with this performance. I thank the whole team for helping me. I made two posts, but I knew it was coming. I stayed focused to do better and I was able to score those two goals. It was crazy, our fans are everywhere. I thank them, they make us want to win and play well, ” saluted the young Senegalese after the match. “I am always available for the coach. I’ll stay focused, do what I need to do, and I’ll be fine. I don’t have the words, but I’m very happy.”
On the list of departures in the summer
Bamba Dieng has certainly just taken another step in his career. Arrived in August 2020 from Senegal, he was nevertheless labeled as “still learning” by the Phocean leaders who were ready to let him leave for 5 million euros in case of an offer.
Coach Jorge Sampaoli opposed his departure. Beautiful intuition on his part : “For me, Dieng is not a surprise, otherwise I would not have put it. He has qualities that we see on a daily basis, to play in spaces. We chose him for this ability to hurt their backs,” he simply summed up at the end of the game. “It has great potential.”
While he had played so far only a minute this season against Montpellier, on the first day of the season, the Senegalese found himself propelled Sunday on the front page of the Team, the French sports daily of reference, and La Provence, the regional newspaper of the south-east of France, close to OM.
Trained in Senegal at the Diambars school
Born in Pikine, in the suburbs of Dakar, Bamba Dieng joined the Diambars Institute at 13 years old, a club-school created by Patrick Vieira, Bernard Lama, Jimmy Adjovi-Boco and Saer Seck, the current director, who train Senegalese talents.
In this training center based in Saly, the young Bamba Dieng tests himself in several positions before finally settling in attack. A year off due to sprained cruciate ligaments delays its hatching. However, he struggles to return and joins the pro group.
In his first professional season, he scored 12 goals in 14 matches in Ligue 1 Senegalese… and earned the nickname “Bambagoal”.
This is the moment when Bamba Dieng is proposed by his agent at OM, who has just signed a partnership with Diambars. He was then 20 years old and his tests were conclusive. At that time he caught the eye of Nasser Larguet, the director of the training center, who detected in him an immense potential that only needed to be matured in the reserve team.
It is the same Nasser Larguet who launches it a first time in the big bath in February 2021 in the Coupe de France. While he is acting at the head of the team due to the layoff of André Villas-Boas and in the midst of a war between the the OM and the club management, he started the Senegalese minot in the Coupe de France against Auxerre. Eleven minutes later, he scored his first goal with OM.
His agent Seydou Bocar Seck, who is also director of the Diambars Institute, promises on RMC Sport that we have not yet seen all of Bamba Dieng’s potential : “I am happy and proud of him, but not moved. Quite frankly, I expected it. We know his qualities and his mentality. He knew his time would come one day. There is a lot of focus on his speed and power, but Bamba also has other assets. It feels the calls, it has above average technical quality and, you will see, it has a very good relaxation and an excellent head game. The fans are not at the end of their surprises with Bamba”.
Bamba Dieng has already won hearts, especially among former Marseille goalscorers like Michy Batshuayi or Mamadou Niang – the last Senegalese to have scored a double with OM -, who have shown their enthusiasm on social networks. This is probably just the beginning.
Bamba Dieng is under contract with the Olympian club until 2024. He is also in the middle of salary negotiations, when he is currently only receiving 1,800 euros per month. No doubt that this smashing double should prompt the Marseille leaders to offer a raise to the young Senegalese who must meet the club’s management Tuesday, September 14.