Born and raised in Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire of the Atlantic Ocean, Ousmane Diomandé spent much of his formative years with Olympic Sport Abobo before moving to Denmark at the age of 18 to play at FC Midtjylland. Diomandé packed his bags and moved to Western Portugal to play at CD Mafra last august he was a permanent fixture in coach Ricardo Sousa’s starting eleven and played 16 of 22 games, adding one goal and one assist.
From a technical point of view, Diomandé is a very capable youngster who shows quality in the execution of the various actions that the different contexts of the game require. As a defender, he always tries to play clean and avoids direct passes – he only does it in very stressful situations. Both in progression and passing, he reveals the ability to execute with both feet, either to change the center of the game or to zigzag, changing the ball from foot to foot. Based on the two offensive principles mentioned in the previous sentence that Ousmane reveals a big capacity for creation, being evident in this phase of the good definition he has to release the ball, the vertical pass, and the protection of the possession, whether it’s with the body or finding the free man. On the offensive side of the game, the development to work on is to improve his first touch, that is, his receptions, which sometimes make the ball stay under his butt or make the Ivorians round far away.
In terms of intelligence, he is a player capable of benefiting the team around him. Ousmane moves the game forward and always tries to find the best solution when he has the ball and when he doesn’t have it. In this second moment, his ability to anticipate and arrive before the opponent who goes to receive the ball stands out. He antedates scenarios and shows that he thinks faster than the others. The youngster’s passing is intelligent, either to the foot or to space, the way he added his first and only assist of the season. He is a constant passing option and never hides from the game and from being a protagonist with the ball.
Physically, he approaches a monster. He is 1.90 meters tall and weighs 86 kilograms. His robustness can be seen from a distance. In the game, he is aggressive in contests, quick to move, and has commendable acceleration peaks. On the ball, he has the same capacity to move the ball quickly and overcome the pressure of his opponents. He combines well the physical aspect with the tactical and technical aspects of the game and knows how to take advantage of it.
From the point of view of attitude, which is more prominent in defensive moments, he is a capable player under the moment of pressure: he always has the supports well orientated to where he is going to move and is able to define the right timing to be precise in the tackle. Furthermore, and maybe the most important tactical part of this moment, the Ivorian reveals how to protect the center and always tries to guide the opponent to the side corridor, keeping him away from the sensitive areas of the pitch. He is a committed player in all his tasks, whether attacking, defending, passing, or set-pieces, the way he got the only goal of the season.
Seeing that Ousmane Diomandé has been strongly linked to SL Benfica, FC Porto, and Sporting CP, having the latter showed more willingness to stay with the Ivorian, it is likely that soon, we will see him on that level. However, he has already shown that have the status to do it. Moreover, he might not stay here, and if the stars align, he might end up in a good team in the main European leagues. What’s more, his call-up to the senior Côte d’Ivoire national team should come soon.