Daily Archives: 01/04/2016

Should Leeds Gamble on Allowing Young Talent to Leave?

LUFC
Leeds United” (CC BY 2.0) by  Chris Robertshaw 

Leeds United appear to be set for another season in the Championship following a familiar, tumultuous campaign at Elland Road.

The club parted company with Uwe Rosler at the start of the campaign after we won just two of the opening 12 fixtures.

Steve Evans was brought in to replace the German and has moved Leeds into the relative safety of mid-table, although his future beyond the end of the season remains uncertain.

The team are 15 points adrift of the playoffs with nine games remaining in the season but stranger things have happened in the second tier and it could be worth an outside bet on reaching the top six at odds of 150/1 at the time of writing with 32Red for UK gamers.

Unless Evans and his side are able to reach the playoffs and make an unlikely surge for the Premier League, the club will have decisions to make regarding their squad for next term.

Leeds have always been consistent producers of successful young talent and now another series of young players have caught the eye of Premier League sides due to their exploits in the Championship.

Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook and Charlie Taylor have all enjoyed impressive campaigns and have been linked with moves to the top flight.

Massimo Cellino has insisted that the players will not be sold this summer, although he might be tempted if the offer proves to be substantial.

Transfer business can be a difficult business for all football teams as you never know how successful you will be.

Bournemouth discovered with the signing of Benik Afobe that buying from the Championship can pay dividends, despite their heavy outlay on securing his signature from Wolves.

When a transfer deal is done correctly, the move can have benefits for both parties. For example, a team in Leeds’ situation would be able to use the funds to address needs elsewhere.

The example of Southampton may entice Cellino to opt to cash in on his young talent following their mass exodus in 2014 when Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers departed for other clubs.

Liverpool spent big money to acquire Lallana and Lovren, while Nathaniel Clyne followed in their footsteps last summer. However, the Saints used the cash received wisely and they are now within striking distance of the Champions League, although oddsmakers 32Red and Unibet have them at 50/1 for the top four.

Leeds have already allowed Sam Byram to leave the club during the campaign and have not felt the effects of his departure. This means they could well do the same with Cook or Mowatt in the future.

Success in front of the net has been the Leeds’ issue this term, with Mirco Antenucci leading the way with nine strikes while Chris Wood has notched eight goals.

Allowing Cook or Mowatt to depart for a fee in the region of £10m would not be bad business by Leeds, and may let the club target a striker next season to boost their goal tally to fire them into candidates for promotion.