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Leeds United: Hadi Sacko signs a permanent contract, departing Sporting CP
Friday, 2nd Jun 2017 10:25 by @LucasMonk_

The 23 year-old French winger Hadi Sacko has today signed a permanent contract at Elland Road following a curate's egg of a loan spell with Leeds during the 2016-17 season.

Sacko, who sported the blue of Bordeaux prior to spending no less than two seasons featuring for Sporting Lisbon B in the LigaPro (the second tier of Portuguese football), made 42 appearances for United last season, scoring twice while providing three assists as Leeds recorded a highly credible seventh-placed finish.

The fleet-footed winger, renowned for his possession of electrifying pace in addition to his penchant for discombobulating opposition defenders, has signed a three-year contract that shall expire in 2020.

United elected to exercise a clause within the player's original loan agreement that stipulated that the Whites reserved the option to acquire him permanently come the conclusion of the loan. Sacko thus becomes the club's first transfer to be completed under the ownership of Andrea Radrizzani.

Speaking to United's official website, managing director Angus Kinnear spoke joyously of the deal: “We are delighted to announce the signing of Hadi today, he is an exciting player with great potential and a player we hope to see develop over the next three years.”


Despite a luminous start to the 2016-17 season, in which Sacko netted his first goals in English football, the winger's form dwindled sharply as the season began to near its end.

It is for that precise reason, then, that a dash of doubt among some supporters (myself among them) has arisen concerning this particular deal.

I'll refrain from fatalism, but nor will I be stoic ; the fee declared by Sporting Lisbon stands at €2m, with a further €1m in potential addenda.

It seems to me that this money could have been expended in a wiser manner. For Sacko, any purple patch would be ephemeral, and though he could effortlessly lead defenders a merry dance, a final product on his part was seldom seen.

An argument that is frequently propounded by those who have staunchly defended this, United's first foray into the market under Radrizzani's ownership, is that the Frenchman possesses potential in abundance. My riposte would be that in order to mount a vigorous assault upon the upper echelons of the Championship next season, it is necessary for the recruitment of footballers whom are already established.

That isn't to claim that this transfer will most certainly not yield the fruit of success for United in any circumstances, but the onus is now upon the player to affirm his worth to the Whites as, in my view at least - he has rather fortuitously earned this permanent contract.

Photo: Action Images

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