Should Leeds Gamble on Allowing Young Talent to Leave?

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.

11 responses to “Should Leeds Gamble on Allowing Young Talent to Leave?

  1. Reality Cheque

    Its not a gamble as far as the youngsters are concerned Rob, its just the only viable option that they now have in order to fulfil their potential and ENJOY their chosen career.

    Leeds United under the stewardship of Cellino/GFH is now an ex football club, it has ceased to be. The only reason it is still occupying a place in the lower half of the Championship is because it has been nailed there by our deluded owner, it is in fact a dead football club. RIP


    • Our homegrown product, just like any other player, is a tradeable. asset. If another club is prepared to pay a lot of money on the basis of their promise, which enables us to buy more experienced and better value quality players that can get us out of this Division, I don’t see the objection. I don’t think a promotion-winning team nowadays can be built around youngsters. We have to be selective; so, for example, I’d be more willing to grade Cook than Taylor – while I’d jump at the prices quoted last season for Mowatt.


  2. Excellent piece. I find myself in complete agreement with the author.


  3. sniffersshorts

    I think the outcome is now inevitable, if no buyer comes in close season Mad simmo will sell the kids , along with Agents advising them to move on and cash in. Unless a buyout comes in I don think I will see a shift in fortunes in my lifetime, we are just a mid table team who is unlikely to win anything again. We now are like so many just putting in a shift for others to prosper, what is the ruddy point of being fodder for Burnley , Huddersfield , Wednesday and others just like us. Top 6 is football today, in the
    premiership and top leagues in Europe anything below is fodder with out cash injection…… so unless we are lucky to buy cut price stars from the profits Cellino and his like will line their pockets ….. we need big money not 10million, granted if we could get 30 to 40 Million, and Cellino reinvested then maybe , but what happened to the McCormack money ………. we are running smoothly but its not going to peak anytime soon without big money …. hence Cellino has told all and sundry to fuck off until you can pay me big …. surely he has had enough and got the point I don’t dislike his stubbornness but it doing the club no favours …… but if he sells to even bigger clowns what would you rather have Rob him or Mickey Mouse. However my love for this club will never diminish and I will live in hope that one day we can give it a go in the prem along with home grown future talent.


  4. Sell who ever won’t make any difference. Cellino will not splash the cash on proven players. He will more than likely bring in more potential and inexperience. We will continue to operate like a hamster on a treadmill and making little progress. Cook leaving is inevitable. New team next season. Be very surprised if Bridcutt and some of tge others are still here. If Cellino makes a definate statement of intent may be, but otherwise same as past two seasons. Six managers and a team lacking real quality. Sorry!


    • No need for sorry, I completely agree – MOT


    • The better players recruited from Italy were not inexperienced and by and large have adapted well to our football. Berardi, Bellusci and Silvestri are good enough for a promotion-challenging side; Bianchi, in my view, was a perfectly capable water carrier. Our biggest weakness has been the inability to replace McCormack upfront and arguably until recently a midfield centred on inexperienced if promising (in some cases) homegrown product.m


      • Chareose

        yes they are so good we are at best a mid table side…………and they took well over a year to settle in……..nevermind eh

        Heard the selling kids ideas before a dozen times, it never pays you back and I guess it depends on how much ambition you have because if you ever did get promotion you would have to pay out twice as much for what we will get for cook to get a similar quality player


      • Hmm Belusci, something of an enigma, reminiscent of Garry Sprake, has prevented a lot of goals with his defending this season, yet blunders on some crucial points. Rather than ascribe it to Sothern Italian macho, I will – perhaps generously – put it down to an attempt to compensate for a lack of inches. Nevertheless I’d still pick him over Bamba. Of course, the occasional error would not matter were we creating anything in attack.


  5. Rob, you hit the nail on the head with “when a transfer deal is done correctly”.
    Leeds United hasn’t correctly done a transfer deal for so many years we’ve forgotten what one looks like.
    Using transfer proceeds to strengthen the squad never happened at Cagliari in 20+ years, nor has this ambitious and progressive approach yet been applied under the Cellino regime at LS11.
    What kind of idiot would buy an old, broken down Ferrari without checking it out or seeing if it was stolen, then pay twice what the used and abused classic was worth?
    How dimwitted would that buyer be, if he then proceeded to employ one hopeless mechanic after another? Could sell rides but charged too much and abused his passengers? Repaired a few dents here and there but sold the wheels and she’s up on blocks now, going nowhere fast?
    If something doesn’t change, and change pretty freaking quickly, we will see our faded gem being the overtaken by more and more Fiat 500s.


  6. Scally Lad

    Rob, in all candor, can it matter? Rotherham – Rotheram!!! – took the double from us today. Why are we preserving ANY of this squad?


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