Sheffield United midfielder, Ismaila Coulibaly, is in danger of becoming the forgotten man for the Blades this season.
After returning to the club following a spell in Belgium, Coulibaly was included as part of the pre-season squad and had featured in friendlies before being injured. In a blow for the Mali youth international, Stuart McCall confirmed that Coulibaly had to have a small operation on his knee before the season began.
“We’ve had plenty of positive news on the injury front but one downside is that Ismaila needed a knee operation. It was a clean up. He was feeling something in there towards the end (of pre-season) and so it was decided to take a look,” McCall said at the time.
Since then, there has been little sign of Coulibaly and little to no mention of him from Paul Heckingbottom in his press conferences. However, there was a minor positive for Blades fans hoping to see Coulibaly this season in the most recent Behind the Blades video posted on YouTube.
As can be seen around 4 minutes in, Coulibaly is among the players lined up in the tunnel as the Blades make their way onto the field against Norwich. Like the rest of the squad not featuring, Coulibaly was part of the line wishing the Blades starting XI good luck on their way out.
Sheff U News View: Blades Fans Might Never See Coulibaly Play
It does seem a shame but the injury sustained and the fact he never seems to get a mention from Paul Heckingbottom suggests Coulibaly isn’t exactly high in our plans for this season.
It is a massive shame in a way. Sure, we don’t really know how Coulibaly would have reacted to being exposed to Championship football. But given how many injuries there has been this season, the Mali starlet might have found himself with minutes had he not been out himself.
As it stands, despite him obviously being in and around the squad, it seems like being a long way off before the Blades fans get to see the 21-year-old in action. Hopefully, he can get back fit before January at which point, a loan move might well suit all parties.