Honestly, very little was expected of Hadi Sacko this past season. His loan move from Sporting Club de Portugal that was made permanent was one of the first deals made by the club last summer.
At the least, he was expected to be able to add some pace off the bench to help stretch defences and perhaps make the occasional start. While he did not exactly have a permanent place under Garry Monk, he did feature 42 times in all competitions for Leeds United in the 2016-17 Season.
Sacko rarely appeared under both Paul Heckingbottom and Thomas Christiansen while at Leeds this past season, only making 18 appearances. He got a few surprise starts for both Christiansen, who mainly started him in the League Cup, and got a shock start against Wolverhampton under Heckingbottom. He failed to impress, and found if difficult to even make the bench in the later part of the season. Somehow, during all of this, he was picked for the Mali national team, much to everyone’s surprise.
The writing has been on the wall for some time, and Sacko even seemed to say goodbye to Leeds fans earlier this week, indicating that both he and the club thought it best for him to move on.
Cracking goal that was. Sacko held his run to stay onside in his own half, Hernandez had the vision to pick him out, deadly finish,— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) September 19, 2017
While most of his performances were not up to par, the highlight of his season was the goal he scored against Burnley in the League Cup, helping Leeds to upset the Premier League team and wave goodbye to old “friends” Charlie Taylor and Chris Wood.
Final Grade: D
Sacko did not even live up to the low expectations that were expected of him. Christiansen seemed to use him very reluctantly and Heckingbottom also seemed to put him out of mind, as Sacko did not feature at all after being pulled off at half-time in the match against Wolves. Perhaps in a different system with a different manager, Sacko can be a productive player, but it’s not going to be at Leeds.