Amadou Haidara is a midfielder who many clubs have been keeping a tabs on, especially in England as Manchester United and Newcastle United have been linked with the Malian international. Currently at the Africa Cup of Nations, we take a look at who he is, what he can bring, and how he already has connections with English football.
Haidara started his career in his native Mali, playing at the football academy set up by former French international Jean-Marc Guillou. At the age of 18, he got his first taste of the Red Bull football family, signing for Austrian champions, Red Bull Salzburg, in 2016.
After a year out on loan at Salzburg’s second team, FC Liefering, Haidara got his chance with the first team in the top flight of Austrian football and take his chance he did, contributing 17 goals in 43 games as Red Bull Salzburg won their 12th and 13th respective Austrian Bundesliga titles.
This huge contribution for anyone, never mind a defensive-minded player and it caught the attention of the bigger clubs in the Red Bull football family, RB Leipzig, as he secured a move to Germany for €19m, the second most expensive transfer fee for a footballer from Mali.
After mostly contributing off the bench for his first 18 months as Leipzig made huge strides including making the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019/20, the midfielder made his biggest contribution under Julian Nagelsmann last season. By playing 43 games in all competitions, a collection of six goals and three assists helped Leipzig to another top four finish and to reach the final of the German Cup and he subsequently throw himself into the category of the most-wanted midfielders in European football.