Kone had a nightmare start at Rosenborg. In 2006 he just started one single league match because of injuries and hard competition of Steffen Iversen, Frode Johnsen and Thorstein Helstad.
He impressed everyone in the pre-season friendly matches in 2007, but did not get to play the first league matches in April and May due to a thigh injury. After just starting one match in the first half of the season, he was eventually placed on the spectators stand to make room for Alejandro Lago in the squad (max three non EU players). When vacationing at home he got malaria, and on top of all that RBK this summer tried transfering him to Odd or Vålerenga to get new central defenders in return.
But against Astana in the UCL qualifiers Yssouf Kone was included in the starting eleven to replace Daniel Braaten, who left for Bolton. He even got to play central striker and placed competitor Iversen on the right wing.
Kone scored after just three minutes and later once more. He also scored twice in the home leg and twice even against Tampere (watch his first goal!) in the next round. His month of August was just terrific with 9 goals in 8 matches!
He has been unstopable with 9 goals in 11 domestic league matches and 7 goals in 8 Champions League matches! After playing 4-3-3 for years, Rosenborg tried 4-4-2 in the two matches against Valencia, and this was a great success with 2-0 wins both in Trondheim and in Spain. Kone and Iversen together on top seems like a very good duo.
Of course he is a favourite among us Rosenborg supporters, but he is not kind of crucial for the team. We might go back to 4-3-3 in the 2008 season, and a fit Iversen is really good as lone striker (the problem is that he often needs half a seson to get properily fit).
Nevertheless I want to keep Kone in Rosenborg. He is a great person and smart - he is one of few professional footballers having studied maths at university! But since he already in September rejected extending his contract (lasts until 31 December 2008), a transfer already this winter has seemed likely for quite some weeks.
A transfer to Cluj sounds strange - even thinking of the money, but since Kone won't go to France, he shuts several of his other options.
The question now is whether Rosenborg and Cluj might agree on a transfer fee. I guess we want at least €2m, hopefully €3m.