Leeds United have signed Sol Bamba on loan for the remainder of the season, with the view to a permanent deal in the summer.
The 30-year-old defender has struggled for game-time at Palermo this term, with his only Serie A appearance coming in the 3-3 draw at Napoli back in September. This lack of action has also cost him on the international scene as, despite playing in all three matches at the World Cup Finals in Brazil last summer, he was overlooked for the 2015 African Cup of Nations squad.
Bamba is now likely to get regular first team football at Leeds, who are currently in 20th position in the Championship and just six points above the relegation zone. The Ivorian has experience of playing in the second-tier of English football due to a 17-month spell at Leicester City, and he is set to make his debut for the Whites when they travel to Huddersfield Town next weekend.
“He’s trained with us this morning and he looked good and sharp,” manager Neil Redfearn told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “We need competition in that area, that’s clear to everyone, and the key for me is that Sol knows the Championship. He knows this level. He’s been here before with Leicester. He’ll be a good addition and we’re hopeful of getting another couple of new faces in next week.”
Bamba began his career in France, the country of his birth, with Paris Saint Germain. Having failed to make the grade in the capital he moved to Scotland, where he played for Dunfermline Athletic and Hibernian before switch to Leicester in January 2011. He then spent two years in Turkey with Trabzonspor, before heading to Italy on a free transfer last summer.
Meanwhile, Leeds may be finalising another arrival from Palermo before their trip to the John Smith’s Stadium next Saturday. It is believed midfield player Granddi Ngoyi could be on his way to Yorkshire in another loan deal for the remainder of the campaign. The 26-year-old, like Bamba, is out of favour at the Rosanero, having made just five substitute appearances this term.