24-year-old defender Amoudou Haidara has been released by Leeds United ahead of his official contract ending in June – and Leeds fans will hope it’s the start of a much wider cull.
The club has invested heavily into the Under-23s squad and there’s plenty of deadweight there as well as in the senior squad.
Paul Heckingbottom has inherited a squad that’s not good enough to get promoted into the Premier League – he knows it and the fans know it too.
He’s hinted at wholesale changes in the summer and so too has owner Andrea Radrizzani, who embarked on a rant about his players on a recent talkSHOW broadcast, saying: “As a club we support them in everything… but we didn’t get back their commitment, their passion and spirit.”
Haidara is a good place to start.
The centre-back, who was signed in 2016, never made a senior appearance for Leeds but went straight into the Under-23s, where he’s sat ever since.
And, according to the Lufcyouth Twitter account, a solid source of Leeds information, the player is now looking for a new club.
Amadou Haidara has also moved on after been released by #lufc u23s
— Lufcyouth (@leedsutdacademy) March 15, 2018
Sweeping out the players that aren’t going to make the grade from the Under-23s is a good start and there must be a lot of senior players who are now worried about their future.
Eunan O’Kane, Felix Wiedwald and Kalvin Phillips are just three of the senior players in the firing line, and plenty more could leave as Leeds get serious about rebuilding after both senior and Under-23s squad have got bloated and under-skilled.
Leeds fans will be hoping this ruthless streak continues ahead of a summer refresh that could finally see them make a decent stab at getting back in the top flight.
In other Leeds news, Leeds star faces summer axe as Heckingbottom makes blunt admission about agreement