Date: 22nd January 2010 at 1:23pm
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OK, Mame Biram Diouf is officially promising now. A hat-trick for the Reserves, of course, is not something to get carried away about (though you may care to have a look at players who had scored hat-tricks for United reserves: Erik Nevland has become a Premiership player, Giuseppe Rossi is at a top Spanish team and Kiko Macheda has scored the winner in a crucial fixture days after netting his hat-trick for the Reserves) but Diouf is in Fergie’s plans, that’s obvious.

The Senegal striker started the Reserve league game against champions Sunderland and in little over 50 minutes he scored a hat-trick, with three classy finishes. His reward might be another first-team appearance though he was withdrawn with injury after 57 minutes.

‘We`re very pleased with Diouf,’ Fergie said.

‘He`s done exceptionally well in training, he scored against Burnley and last night he grabbed a hat-trick for the Reserves. We took him off last night but it was only a precaution and he`ll feature in my thinking for tomorrow.’

With Berbatov struggling with his knee and Owen looking distinctly uninspiring, Diouf has a real shot at making it at Manchester United. He’ll never have a better opportunity.