‘I can start again’ – Sheffield United player says ‘door is open’ to transfer, Blades decision

Sheffield United’s Ismaila Coulibaly initially struggled after joining AIK on loan earlier this year.

In March, AIK manager Henning Berg criticized the midfielder and asked him to improve. He has managed two goals and an assist in nine games for them so far and both goals came in the Swedish club’s 6-2 win over Norrköping at the weekend.

After the tie, Fotbollskanalen spoke to Berg, Ioannis Pittas and the Sheffield United-owned player to discuss the latter’s performance.

Berg deployed him in midfield against Norrköping and the player wants to continue in the same position. The 23-year-old has battled injuries and been restricted to limited game time over the past few years and is delighted to have scored a brace.

“To be honest, these two goals are very important to me. I’ve been struggling with my career for the last two years and I haven’t played many games in the last three years. That means a lot to me” he said.

“I missed it. I struggled to play there, but I had finally accepted my new position. Now I got a gift from the coach, to play as a central midfielder and you never get the chance twice. So, I looked at every second of this game as a big chance for me. I think we took advantage of the opportunity.”

The Malian international’s loan deal with AIK runs until July 31, after which he must return to Sheffield United. In the summer window, the Blades will have to make a decision whether to include him in Chris Wilder’s plans or part ways with him.

If they were after the player, they would prefer to continue with AIK after their sporting director Thomas Berntsen decided to bet on him.

“Berntsen really showed his faith in me and helped me. I came here as a player who hadn’t played much. So my door to AIK is open. It’s up to AIK and Sheffield to decide, but my door is open.” explained Coulibaly.

When asked if it was possible for AIK to buy him, he added: “It could be difficult. Because I had to fight to even come here on loan. Sheffield did not want to include a purchase option.

“But I am open to a follow-on and it depends on AIK and Sheffield United. I would be fine to stay and I have a lot of faith in Berntsen. I know I can make a new start in my career here. Everything is possible. Especially if AIK is fighting for the title.”

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