Ismaila Coulibaly addresses his Sheffield United future amid wages claim and "crying" admission

Ismaila Coulibaly’s frustration continues on loan in Sweden as he discusses his Sheffield United future

Ismaila Coulibaly has admitted his future at Sheffield United is up in the air after an underwhelming loan move to Swedish side AIK. The Malian midfielder was allowed to join the Allsvenskan outfit in January to get some regular game-time, but his five appearances so far have amounted to just 263 minutes of action.

After a frustrating spell at Bramall Lane that saw him play just a handful of times following his move from Sarpsborg 08, which saw him loaned to United’s sister club Beerschot before arriving at Bramall Lane to avoid visa issues, it has been more of the same for the youngster in Sweden. He has been frustrated at being played out of position by boss Henning Berg, the former Manchester United defender, but now admits he has grown up and accepted the coach’s decision.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Sometimes you have to be strong mentally,” he admitted. “I have been playing in the wrong position but have now stopped crying and whining like a small child because of it. No one wants to hear my whining and the coach is always right. He decides.

“We had a conversation about it. So now I know where he will play me. Then I simply get to work and try to do my best there. I can't keep crying because now I know where to play. I want to play as a six but as I said: I can't go on and on about it. No no. The coach decides. I will help my teammates and am as focused as I can.”

Speaking to Swedish outlet Aftonbladet, Coulibaly also addressed his future at Bramall Lane. His initial contract at United is set to run out in the summer but United have another option in their favour to extend it, something they may feel is financially prudent if they feel they can recoup some of their initial investment on the player. Sporting director Thomas Berntsen revealed that an option to buy Coulibaly would have cost “two or three million euros” but conceded that the Malian’s struggles may actually work in their favour, by reducing his transfer value and make him more affordable.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“That is probably true,” Bernsten said. “That's why we didn't have an option to buy him in the contract. Because if we had it, he would have cost two or three million euros. It is impossible for us. When Ismaila chose to come here, there were top Belgian clubs that wanted him. He chose to come down in salary and sacrificed a lot financially to come.”

Coulibaly, who worked with Bernsten at Sarpsborg, is happy to place his faith in his long-time associate in terms of his future. “I trust Thomas a lot,” Coulibaly said. “In the beginning I complained about my position here in AIK but now I am learning the system. I am happy now. The discussion about my future is open and I trust Thomas. So we'll see what happens. It could be that I stay, but it's all about what Sheffield wants too. They decide.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.