Sheffield United have completed the signing of young Mali midfielder, Ismaila Coulibaly, as Chris Wilder continues to build his squad.
Confirmed by the club’s official website, Coulibaly has signed with the Blades but will spend the next few seasons with partner club Beerschot V.A. in Belgium while work-permit issues are sorted out.
The teenager has already represented Mali at under-20 level but is currently ineligible to play for the Blades due to the UK’s permit conditions. He will, then, spend at least a season in Belgium and possibly three, depending on how the scenario pans out.
Coulibaly scored four times last season for Norwegian outfit Elitserien, impressing in Scandinavia enough to catch the eye of Chris Wilder and his recruitment and scouting team.
The Blades boss has consistently spoken of his desire to improve the here and now but with also an eye on the future, and Coulibaly seems to fit in with that ethos.
A smart move and a sign we are building as a club – Our View
One of the things you see big Premier League clubs do is utilise their resources around the world and this is a sign the Blades are starting to look at those sorts of business deals.
This should prove a smart move for the club. Obviously, we’d be lying if we said we knew loads about Coulibaly, so it remains to be seen whether he will eventually become a key player for the Blades.
However, if he does ok in Belgium and Chris Wilder doesn’t fancy him for the long-term, it still gives us a saleable asset.
All in all, it looks to be a smart move by the club.