Following weeks of transfer speculation, with every conceivable name bandied about in terms of transfer activity both in and out of the club, Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything can reveal the identity of the player involved in the Whites’ biggest coup of the transfer window.
The man concerned is Lewis Cook, United’s foremost young talent, who has revealed in the past few days that he will “still be at the club next week”. And this, more than any possible piece of transfer business on the last day of yet another frustrating window of recruitment opportunity, will represent Leeds’ major achievement in terms of their under-equipped squad.
Cook could easily have been sold to any one of several covetous Premier League clubs, for very good money indeed. The apparent fact that he will be staying at Elland Road, there to participate fully in the remainder of yet another season of dire and hopeless mediocrity, will represent the most positive possible outcome for a football giant that is shrinking by the year. And the fact that Leeds themselves seem ready to regard the retention of young talent as the high water mark of their transfer market ambition is a savage indictment of the depths to which the club has now sunk.
Meanwhile, clubs like Middlesbrough, Derby County and even Bristol City have shown willing to consider the level of investment needed to rise in this dog-eat-dog league. Leeds United, one-time Kings of English Football, show no such resolve. The club as it’s currently run is a betrayal of the golden tradition forged in the sixties and seventies, with a brief revival in the nineties. There is a complacent, decadent air about Cellino‘s Leeds, and nothing short of a major shake-up from the top down seems likely to change that sad situation anytime soon.
But, cheer up – Lewis Cook, subject to any tragic last-minute about-turn, will see out this latest deadline day as a Leeds player, so we will have him to cheer on in the white shirt, perhaps for another season or so. Until he realises, as the likes of Sam Byram have before him, that if his ambition is to match his talent, he will have to seek the fulfilment of both elsewhere.
Happy deadline day. Maybe there will be a loan or two to mollify us after all the speculation and all the hollow promises. And, let’s not forget, we took over 6,000 to the Macron.
Isn’t life grand?