Bakary Sako

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Bakary Sako
Bakary Sako (03-08-2011).jpg
Personal information
Full name Bakary Sako[1]
Date of birth (1988-04-26) 26 April 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Ivry-sur-Seine, Paris, France
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Attacking midfielder, Winger
Club information
Current team
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Number 10
Youth career
1996–2000 Vitry CA
2000–2002 US Ivry
2002–2006 Châteauroux
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2009 Châteauroux 68 (9)
2009–2012 Saint-Étienne 106 (12)
2012– Wolverhampton Wanderers 80 (22)
National team
2005 Mali U17 1 (0)
2009–2010 France U21 10 (2)
2014– Mali 2 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:19, 21 August 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 02:02, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Bakary Sako (born 26 April 1988) is a French-born Malian international footballer who plays for English club Wolverhampton Wanderers. He plays primarily as a midfielder but can be also utilised as a striker.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Sako had been with Châteauroux since 2001, joining the club as an academy player. He made his league debut on the final matchday of the 2005–06 Ligue 2 season coming on as a half-time substitute in a 4–1 victory over Bastia.[2] Following the season, he signed his first professional contract after agreeing to a three-year deal.[3] He was promoted to the senior squad and assigned the number 26 shirt.

During the next two seasons, Sako was limited to mostly substitute appearances. He did score his first league goal, during the 2007–08 season, in a 1–2 defeat against Brest.[4] During the 2008–09 season Sako became an integral part of the team, helping the club narrowly avoid relegation on the final day.

Saint-Étienne[edit]

On 9 July 2009, Sako departed Châteauroux for Ligue 1 club AS Saint-Étienne, where he signed a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Wolverhampton Wanderers[edit]

Sako playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers

On 29 August 2012, Sako signed for English Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee.[5] He scored on his Wolves debut in a League Cup tie against Northampton on 30 August 2012,[6] and again on his league debut in the following match, a 1–3 defeat at Cardiff.[7]

The winger adapted well to English football, scoring ten times in total and contributing eleven assists.[8] However, his season was halted early when he tore his hamstring in March 2013 in a match against Bristol City,[9] which ruled him out for much of the season's final games, during which the team were relegated to League One.[10]

Sako was the subject of transfer speculation during Summer 2013. Owing to his uncertain future, the player did not play in Wolves' final match of the transfer window as he "didn't feel he was in the right frame of mind".[11] Several reported bids from Nottingham Forest were rejected by the club.[11][12] In October 2013, Forest again attempted to set up a deal but Wolves pulled out of negotiations citing that "the terms surrounding the offer were unrealistic".[13] He put aside this distraction to become a key player in the second half of the 2013/14 season to help Wolves run away with the English League One title.

International career[edit]

Sako played for the Malian U17 team in one friendly match in 2005, while the team was preparing for the 2005 African Under-17 Championship. The following year, he returned to the French team playing with the under-18 squad. He was a member of the French squad that participated in the 2007 European Under-19 Championship reaching the semi-finals before being eliminated by Spain. He made his French under-21 debut on 11 February 2009 in a friendly match against Tunisia. He scored his first under-21 goal in the 2009 Toulon Tournament against Qatar.

Sako was called up by the Malian national team for the first time for a friendly against Senegal on 5 March 2014.[14] He scored his first international goal against Guinea in a friendly match played on 25 May 2014.

Statistics[edit]

As of 4 June 2014
Club Season League Domestic League Domestic Cups Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Châteauroux 2005–06 Ligue 2 1 0 0 0 1 0
2006–07 17 0 0 0 17 0
2007–08 15 1 1 0 16 1
2008–09 35 8 6 1 41 9
Total 68 9 7 1 0 0 75 10
Saint-Étienne 2009–10 Ligue 1 30 1 4 3 34 4
2010–11 38 7 4 0 42 7
2011–12 36 4 3 1 39 5
2012–13 2 0 0 0 2 0
Total 106 12 11 4 0 0 117 16
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2012–13 Championship 37 9 2 1 39 10
2013–14 League One 40 12 2 1 42 13
Total 77 21 4 2 0 0 81 23
Career Total 251 42 22 7 0 0 273 49

Honours[edit]

Wolverhampton Wanderers

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Professional retain list & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. 18 May 2013. p. 26. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Bastia v. Chateauroux Match Report. Lfp.fr. Retrieved on 2012-09-29.
  3. ^ Embouteillage en équipe nationale. 24sn.com. Retrieved on 2012-09-29.
  4. ^ Chateauroux v. Brest Match Report. Lfp.fr. Retrieved on 2012-09-29.
  5. ^ "Wolves sign Bakary Sako from St Etienne on three-year deal". BBC Sport. 29 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Northampton 1–3 Wolves". BBC Sport. 2012-08-30. 
  7. ^ "Cardiff 3–1 Wolves". BBC Sport. 2 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Bakary Sako". ESPN. 
  9. ^ "Bakary Sako & Dave Edwards: Wolves await injury diagnosis". BBC Sport. 18 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Wolves trio Carl Ikeme, Bakary Sako and Dave Edwards ruled out for the season". Express & Star. 25 March 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Wolves turn down Nottingham Forest Bakary Sako bid". Express & Star. 1 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Wolves reject £3.5m bid for Bakary Sako". Shropshire Star. 3 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Club Statement: Bakary Sako". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 4 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "Mali call-up for Wolves winger Bakary Sako". Express and Star. 28 February 2014. 

External links[edit]