Back in the summer of 2012, Stale Solbakken embarked on his Wolves reign with a significant shopping trip which saw him bring a number of new faces to Molineux.
The ex-manager managed to capture the signature of Bakary Sako in this particular window, making the Malian his seventh signing of the summer after Bjorn Sigurdarson, Frank Nouble, Tongo Doumbia, Slawomir Peszko, Georg Margreitter and Razak Boukari also joined.
Solbakken even managed to sign him for just £3m, which was a bargain for what the forward went on to achieve for Wolves.
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Sako made a total of 124 appearances for Wolves, netting an impressive 38 goals while also registering 36 assists.
He was signed from St Etienne, and the Midlands-based club even managed to fight off interest from Lille and Stuttgart to sign the powerful forward – it was a real coup at the time.
Who was better?
Eventually, and also understandably, the forward asked Wolves to let him leave for a taste of Premier League football, before eventually seeing out his contract and joining Crystal Palace on a free transfer.
Despite that not-so-romantic ending, that should take nothing away from the fact that Solbakken’s capture of Sako for just £3m was a fantastic signing, and definitely a shrewd one from a financial sense.
Ultimately, Sako cost Wolves £79k for every goal that he scored, if you were to divide his £3m fee by his 38 goals.
It was an excellent value-for-money capture by the Norwegian boss, and one which helped kickstart Wolves’ rise back into the Premier League – even if things did end on a somewhat sour note.
Solbakken can give himself a pat on the back for this one.
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