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Amadou Haidara released by Leeds United, bringing an end to bizarre transfer chapter

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Amadou Haidara released by Leeds United, bringing an end to bizarre transfer chapter

The French defender was a shock signing, who never made it into the Leeds first-team.

One of the strangest transfer in Leeds United’s recent history has reached its final chapter, with Amadou Haidara having his contract at the club terminated last month.

The news has been confirmed by The FA on their Monthly Bulletins page regarding player registrations. In fact, the official date of Haidara’s release at Leeds United is recorded as the 20th February, so Haidara has been away from Leeds for nearly a month.

Haidara’s signing was always something of an enigma at Leeds. On deadline day in the summer of 2016 his picture was doing the rounds on social media as a new Leeds signing. Fans scramble to find out about the player, but not much existed. Some got him confused with the Red Bull Salzburg registered midfielder.

LEEDS, ENGLAND – JANUARY 20: A young Leeds United fan sings during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Millwall at Elland Road on January 20, 2018 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

But this Haidara was not the marauding midfielder making a name for himself in Austria. Instead it was a then 22-year-old centre-back. Haidara had previously been at Nantes. Whilst with the Canaries he had spells on trial at Nottingham Forest and Portuguese side Pacos Ferreira. No deals ever came about and he was released by Nantes in 2014.

The two years between are a mystery. Haidara was certainly not signed to any professional football team.

All of a sudden he popped up at Leeds. Haidara does share an agent with Leeds winger Hadi Sacko and then club captain Sol Bamba – which could explain a few things.

Haidara soon got to work at whipping himself into shape and featuring for the Leeds United under-23s. However, despite the occasional shortage at the back, the first-team never called upon him.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 29: Alberto Moreno of Liverpool and Hadi Sacko of Leeds United battle for the ball during the EFL Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield on November 29, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

This season, with wholescale investment into the under-23 side, Haidara found himself struggling to feature for Carlos Corberan’s development team.

Most Leeds fans were surprised that Haidara got a second season to try and prove himself at the club. But the Frenchman, now 24, has not made it to the end of the campaign.

It will be interesting to keep track of the player now and see where his future lies. Could he remain in England, or head back to France to try and continue his career.

Mathew Nash

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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