The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

IF Hadi Sacko is a Sport­ing Lis­bon player, I’m Hunter S Thomp­son.

Leeds’ on-loan winger can ap­pear so hap­less it’s tempt­ing to won­der if the for­mer France Un­der-20 star was re­placed by an Ali Di­astyle im­pos­tor last July.

Yes, he’s quick. Fe­ro­ciously, blind­ingly fast. But so is Usain Bolt and you don’t see clubs clam­our­ing to sign him. Speed alone is not enough – yet speed is all Sacko pos­sesses.

His first touch has the fi­nesse of a lump ham­mer. Crosses are more dan­ger­ous to by­standers than de­fend­ers.

And, as for de­ci­sion­mak­ing, just take a look at the mo­ment against Wed­nes­day when Sacko, like a yip-rid­den darts player, clung to pos­ses­sion in­stead of play­ing Chris Wood in on goal. El­land Road erupted in frus­tra­tion and not for the first time.

The Whites have an agree­ment in place to sign Sacko per­ma­nently next sea­son and it’s fair to say Sport­ing won’t be see­ing much of the am­bi­tious £56.5m re­lease clause in his con­tract.

Not with Mas­simo Cellino around and not with so many flaws to iron out. At 22, Sacko has time to im­prove his all-round game, but he needs to get a shift on. Right now, he is barely good enough for the Cham­pi­onship, let alone the Pre­mier League.

Garry Monk is a tal­ented coach, yet even he has his work cut out if Sacko is not to join the long list of stel­lar young ath­letes who grew into tech­ni­cally de­fi­cient foot­ballers.


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