UWE ROSLER is backing Sol Bamba to be an air commander on the pitch and unifying figure in the dressing room for Leeds United.
The defender has joined United permanently on a two-year deal with the option of a third after the club agreed an undisclosed fee with Serie A side Palermo.
Former sporting director Nicola Salerno – whose official departure from the club was confirmed yesterday – helped to broker the deal, United’s third signing of the summer.
Leeds are now looking at several other targets, with head coach Rosler admitting it is a case of bringing in ‘the right players for the right price’ with the club not having one of the biggest budgets in the Championship.
In terms of Bamba, Rosler believes that the 30-year-old has many attributes, with his defensive qualities – especially in the air – and his ability to speak several languages in a multi-cultural dressing room being key ones.
Rosler said: “He (Bamba) can be a leader by himself for the young team he is working with.
“He brings a lot of qualities in terms of what we are looking for and also what we have because in general, we do not have the tallest team. We need somebody with a lot of qualities in the air.
“He is a good unit player and likes to defend and attack the ball in both boxes and I think that is very important in the modern game that we have match-winners in both boxes.
“I have spoken to players and staff and everybody gave Sol a glowing reference in terms of trying to unify the dressing room and keep people with different cultures and languages together (as a team) because he has the ability to speak not only one language.
“I think that is very important to help to communicate with the whole squad.
“I spoke to him and he gave me a clear impression he wanted to stay in the UK and Leeds is a big club and I think the supporters took to him and in his spell here, he performed really well. We hope he can continue at that level.
“I am delighted to get such an experienced player to our squad.
“Of course, I think he has the experience of the league and British football and he has performed very well.”
Bamba’s signing follows the additions of Motherwell striker Lee Erwin and young goalkeeper Charlie Horton and Rosler says the club, led by new head of recruitment Martyn Glover, will be working very hard to supplement the squad with further additions in the coming weeks.
Rosler, who has been busy at Thorp Arch this week planning United’s pre-season programme and meeting with squad, added: “I think the club are looking very hard on the recruitment side. That is all what I can say.
“We are having not the biggest budget in the league, like everybody knows. But we are trying to get the right players for the right price for the club.
“We are delighted to get Sol in as he is what we are looking for in all areas.”
Meanwhile, outgoing sporting director Salerno is being tipped to join Premier League newboys Watford.
United confirmed his departure yesterday, with the Italian having stepped down from his role in April following speculation about his position in the wake of the suspension of former United assistant head coach Steve Thompson.
Confirming the news, the club tweeted: “Nicola Salerno has departed his role as Sporting Director at #lufc after a mutual termination of his contract was reached.
“We would like to thank Nicola for his efforts over the last year and he will always be welcomed back to Elland Road in the future.”