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Hadi Sacko was first Leeds signing of Radrizzani era, but should be sold this summer

Championship

Hadi Sacko was first Leeds signing of Radrizzani era, but should be sold this summer

The Mali international has struggled for form at Leeds United this season.

Leeds United’s campaign in the Championship this season eventually fizzled out to a mid-table finish. After initially looking like competing for promotion, that challenge fell away and head coach Thomas Christiansen was given the boot.

Now the planning must start for next season as Leeds look to mount a more serious promotion challenge.

Plenty of focus is, of course, on who Leeds might sign. But equally as important is ensuring they keep their key players and be done with the dross kicking around at Elland Road.

Unfortunately for one Garry Monk signing, that includes him.

Hadi Sacko initially joined Leeds on loan at the start of the 2016-17 season from Sporting Lisbon. He made headlines due to his massive release clause with the Portuguese club and Leeds fans were excited to see what they had with the new recruit.

 

He went on to be a key player for Leeds that season. He played 42 times for the club as they narrowly missed out on the play-offs.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

That led to his permanent signature, despite the departure of Monk as manager. He was the first man to join Leeds after the takeover of the club by Andrea Radrizzani from Massimo Cellino.

However, much like that takeover, a promising beginning has ended in an unfruitful end. Sacko was poor in 2017-18. The 24-year-old played 18 times for the club but started just one Championship game.

When he did play, Sacko struggled. His end product continued to desert him and he was no longer taking players on like he had in 2016-17.

Inexplicably, he received his first international cap for Mali this campaign, but that was not based on his club form.

This summer Leeds would do well to move Sacko on. The club needs better wide options and the longer Sacko sits around as an option, the less likely Leeds are to make a move for a fresh face on the right-hand side of midfield again. The first signing of the Radrizzani era should perhaps be one of the first to go just one year on.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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