Leeds United’s transfer coffers could be boosted with the news suggesting a former academy graduate is on the move.
Reports suggest that Lewis Cook could be set for another career step up, linking him with a potential move to Premier League top four side Liverpool.
The academy star moved to Bournemouth for a deal worth £10million in the summer of 2016 and hardly featured in his first season at the club.
However, his stellar display as captain of the Young Lions in the Under 20 World Cup, in which they went on to win after a 1-0 victory over Venezuela in the final.
Cook has now been a key figure in Eddie Howe‘ side making 16 starts and being heralded as a future top flight star.
This has now caught the attention of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who is looking to replace the departing Emre Can with Cook in what could be around £20million.
This summer deal could be very good news for Leeds, as in the deal they had agreed a compensatory package should Cook be sold on.
The sell on fee is said to be around 15-20% of any fee the player is purchased for. If this is correct, Leeds could bag at least £3million in the summer for a player no longer on the books.
If the value should increase and Cook depart for an astronomical amount, Leeds could be looking at a windfall of cash to use for transfers in the summer.
By Ryan Ingham
On this day in 1971:Still one of the biggest cup upsets of the history of FA Cup.
With the news that Tyler Roberts will have an extended period away from the squad, a chance ha arisen to be a key figure for the Leeds’ last promotion push.
The young forward, who signed for the club on deadline day in a £2.5million deal has reportedly pulled up in training after suffering a shin injury.
With Leeds still holding a small hope of sneaking into the playoff spots, someone is going to have to stand up and be counted for the club.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga looks to be Leeds’ main striker for the remainder of the season but he now needs a partner who can do the dirty work and with Kemar Roofe suffering a suspected concussion and current poor form, it may not be him.
Enter Caleb Ekuban, a striker who can track back and win the ball but also beat a player with pace. Granted he needs to add goals to his game and with the pressure cooker games coming up, it could be a perfect baptism of fire.
If Leeds can get the best out of Ekuban for the remainder of the season, the club could have the perfect partner for any summer moves they consider for next season.
What’s your opinion? Can Ekuban step up to the plate and deliver? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
Although the promising start to an up and down season may be fading fast along with the hopes of promotion, Leeds are still a club on the up.
With a new head coach in charge and more focus on bringing in the right talent in the summer, the Whites are well on their way to building a legitimate promotion challenge and a lot of this has been revolutionised since the arrival of a new chief.
Leeds United had become synonymous with bad management, atrocious ownership and a crumbling brand. Once at the pinnacle of English football, years of mishandling have taken their toll. The once proud side are now well entrenched in second-tier life, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Nothing epitomises the grand shifts in our position more than the new badge debacle of the last twenty days. After six months of consultation, managing director Angus Kinnear unveiled the potential new badge to Whites fans and immediately regretted doing so.
It wasn't a case of what was wrong with the proposed badge, more a case of trying to find something, anything at all, that was right with it. It was in the right colours and had the word 'Leeds' on it, both of which are a prerequisite of a Leeds badge.
Everything else about it was absolutely awful. Thousands of Leeds fans had apparently been consulted, unfortunately for the club it was the thousands of Leeds fan who have no concept of style, design, history or taste.
Under the Cellino regime, the fans would not have been listened to. He treated the club as his own personal toy, a project in which he was master and commander and one hundred years of history and thousands of fans meant absolutely nothing.
Under him, if he wanted that badge, Leeds would have got that badge. In truth, had he realised how unpopular it was, he would have dug his heels in and demanded it be put on the shirts immediately.
This is a brave new dawn, though: this is a Leeds United taking the first tentative steps back out into the light after spending three years in the dark. The current regime do not want PR disasters or negative publicity, they want a club completely united and moving forward together. The holy grail is, of course promotion, but to achieve that there must be unity.
The decision to reopen consultation took a couple of hours, I would imagine when Angus checked his emails it actually took about thirty seconds. The backlash was immediate and incessant, the new design was widely criticised and derided. Leeds United of 2018 responded immediately.
It might seem to the average fan like the right thing to do, to fans of other clubs looking in it would have seemed the logical thing to do. To fans who have suffered Massimo Cellino, Steve Evans and all the other indignities of the past three years, it was a breath of fresh air.
Leeds United are 25/1 in current Championship betting markets, a little harsh as Brentford are 12/1 and currently below the Whites in the table, but potential promotion isn't the only cause for optimism right now. No, the slow return of our club to a credible football force is victory enough for long-suffering fans.
Andrea Radrizzani has returned Leeds United Ladies to the club and shown his administration is paying attention to the fans and the community. The transfer window has been strong, promising young talent arrived at Elland Road in scenes that demonstrate a clear plan for the future.
All around Elland Road, those green shoots of recovery can be seen.
It might not be this season, but recent events off the field have suggested Leeds United are on the way back, all we now need to do is fix it on the field. Not too hard right?
The new Head Coach is.....
Club Statement: ”Leeds United are delighted to confirm the appointment of Paul Heckingbottom as new head coach of the club. Heckingbottom arrives at the club from fellow Sky Bet Championship outfit Barnsley, having been in charge at Oakwell since February 2016. The 40-year-old has signed a contract running until the summer of 2019 and succeeds Thomas Christiansen who left the Leeds United on SundayAs a player, Heckingbottom had a successful career as a defender, with spells at clubs including Norwich City, Bradford City, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley.
“After hanging up his boots, he returned to Barnsley as a coach in their development setup, before becoming caretaker boss in February 2015, taking over from Danny Wilson. He took caretaker charge once again in February 2016, following the departure of Lee Johnson, before landing the job permanently.
“During his time at the helm at Oakwell, Heckingbottom led Barnsely to success in the Football League Trophy, before guiding the Reds to promotion to the Championship via the Play-Offs. Last season he steered the Reds to a 14th place finish in the division, on their return to the Championship and in total, oversaw over 100 games at Barnsley. Heckingbottom’s first game in charge of Leeds United will be Saturday’s Yorkshire derby against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.”
Barnsley's chief exec: "Yes, it was unexpected. Yes, it has come during an already complicated period. Yes, it will make things more difficult short term but our club is full of resources and it is certainly not dependent on one man alone." Not happy then!
Heckingbottom on joining Leeds: “We’ll get out on the grass because that’s important, there are some really big fixtures coming up and some which are going to define the season. I can’t wait to get started, it’s a big opportunity, a big football club and something you work hard for. I’m planning to make the most of it.
“When I spoke to Victor(Orta) and the owner (Andrea Radrizzani), it really aligned with what I was thinking and how I’d like to work. I presume that’s the reason they thought I was the right man for the job. I’m aligned with how they like to work and hopefully that will be good for us going forward.”
We wish the new Head Coach every success in his new post.
Pontus Jansson may be available for the game at Sheffield United, the popular centre half was carried off during the first half of the game with Cardiff City. If he is it would be a timely boost for new HC Paul Heckingbottom, he has Cooper suspended and Shaughnessy out injured.
Ex-Leeds centre forward Brian Deane reaches the half century today. Happy Birthday Big man.
Lasogga massively talking us up in the German media, saying he feels at home in Leeds. He also said he feels incredibly disrespected by HSV investor Kühne's "flop of the century" comment.
Sam Dalby has signed for Leeds United from Leyton Orient. The 18 year old centre forward has signed a two and a half year contract and will immediately join up with Carlos Corberan’s U23 side. Dalby made his debut for National League side Leyton Orient at the age of just 16.
Wow! What a reaction to this monstrous new club badge. Just after lunch it was announced the European shield badge was to be replaced by one shown below.
Ever since the departure of last season’s top goal scorer in the Championship, Chris Wood, Leeds United have struggled to strike the right balance in front of goal.
But, despite the fact that the Whites haven’t had an out-and-out goal-getter in the side, they are still well in the mix to challenge for a spot in the playoff positions at the end of the campaign - and could even push for promotion into the Premier League. What happens in the remainder of the January transfer window could be key, and fans are screaming out for the addition of a big name striker to spearhead the promotion charge.
Lasogga Not up to Scratch
Although Pierre-Michel Lasogga was instrumental in Leeds’ resurgent second-half display against Millwall, the on-loan Hamburg striker has been inconsistent all season and has often been accused of laziness. His two goals against Neil Harris’s side sparked an almost-comeback against the odds but the German also missed a couple of gilt-edged chances in the first half, which could have helped put the game out of the Lions’ reach.
The 26-year-old has bagged seven goals for the Whites but has only started 16 games. This highlights Thomas Christiansen’s lack of faith in the striker, and the manager has frequently preferred Kemar Roofe as the focal point of the United attack. Moments of brilliance from Lasogga suggest that he would be best used as an impact sub to come on late in games and harry tired defences. As a replacement for the departed Wood, who scored 27 goals in the league last season, Lasogga is not up to scratch. In fact, the summer acquisition is at odds of 150/1 with Betway to finish the season as the Championship’s highest scorer. This underlines the fact that United desperately need a striker who is proven at Championship level and knows how to find the back of the net week in, week out.
Missing Potential Recruits
Leeds recently missed out on signing the Derby County forward Chris Martin on loan, something which disheartened many supporters. But there were other potential recruits in the January transfer window, including someone who enjoyed the best form of his career at Elland Road.
According to the Yorkshire Post, Leeds were interested in bringing Ross McCormack back into the fold to lead the line. The Scottish international is out of favour at Aston Villa and was recently shipped out on a short but successful loan to Melbourne City, where he bagged 14 goals in 16 outings. The 31-year-old clearly hasn’t lost his eye for goal and, if Leeds could help him recapture his prolific form of old, McCormack could easily have helped United march on in their promotion bid.
Between 2010 and 2014, the Aston Villa man scored 53 goals in 144 league appearances for the West Yorkshire outfit, prompting a £11 million move to Fulham, where he was also explosive in front of goal.
The deal did seemed to hit a stumbling block with McCormack, as the player has already played for two teams this season and may not be allowed to join a third. If this is the case, Leeds had to cast their gaze elsewhere and this is where their latest £2.5million signing Tyler Roberts will come into play. However, investing so heavily in another young forward Luke mean that Leeds are prepared to wait till next season for their promotion push.
Tricky Times Ahead
There are seriously difficult times ahead, which won’t be helped with the absence of key players Samuel Saiz and Eunan O’Kane. After dropping out of the playoff positions, Leeds are at risk of slipping further down the table when they face stern tests against seven of the top eight teams in the next eight fixtures.
With the departure of Thomas Christiansen and the appointment of Paul Heckingbottom, the new head coach will see all of these games as six-pointers and must look to go for the jugular and claim the win each time. To be able to do that, he needs a striker at his disposal who will constantly cause problems for the opposition defenders.
Leeds have four strikers at their disposal in Lasogga, Roofe, Roberts and Grot and the hope is that one man can fill the void left by missing out on a missed opportunity in January.
In the coming games one man will need to stand up and be counted, who’s your choice?
Yorkshire club Leeds United have become the subject of plenty of disciplinary problems in recent outings, with Thomas Christiansen's side having been on the receiving end of three recent red cards during their latest Championship campaign and brief FA Cup run.
The Whites tasted a shock 2-1 defeat to the FA Cup's lowest-ranked team Newport County in January, crashing out at the hands of the League Two outfit and seeing a man sent off during proceedings, as Samuel Saiz was sent packing in stoppage time.
After that, Leeds then tasted another bitter loss in the Championship as they were toppled 1-0 by rivals Ipswich Town, thanks to a 67th-minute goal from Bersant Celina. They also saw another player red carded, with Eunan O'Kane being dismissed just before half-time at Portman Road for head butting a player.
Then, to add to their ongoing misery, Christiansen's men were overcome 4-3 by close rivals Millwall in their own backyard of Elland Road. As well as this, during the clash, it was Liam Cooper who was sent for an early shower after being sent off in the opening 45 minutes on home territory.
It's clear that the lack of discipline within the squad at Elland Road is having a huge impact on their season, with the Yorkshite outfit having lost five out of their last six games including a draw against Nottingham Forest.
That run of six straight games without a single victory doesn't bode well for the club, considering they are now out of the FA Cup as well as struggling domestically in the second tier of English football. Leeds are now seen at 16/1 in the football betting from Paddy Power to secure a top-six finish this term.
The losses were a direct result of the evident discipline problems in certain games, which is a major problem for a side that were hoping to earn a spot in the playoffs this current campaign. They have come under the spotlight in recent weeks for all of the wrong reasons, adding unneeded pressure to their season.
Christiansen has had to deal with the most dismissals of any manager in The Championship this current campaign, something that is limiting his squad at an already tough and testing time for the Yorkshire side. These constant red cards are coming at an excessive cost.
Across all competitions, no Championship club has picked up more red cards as Leeds United and only two sides have exceeded their tally of 62 bookings in total as well.
They also notably hold the worst score in the Football Association's Fair Play league table for the entire division.
With some of the red cards having been dealt out for confrontational incidents during games, it's clear that Christiansen had a big job to deal with in keeping his players cool and composed for the remainder of the campaign and this is something that resultably caused the head coach his job after a fourth red card was shown to Gaetano Berardi during their 4-1 loss to Cardiff City.
Berardi was seen shouting as his head coach after being taken off and Christiansen had been critical of his senior players after the game.
With Christiansen gone, Paul Heckingbottom comes in to a team devoid of confidence and with four senior players out with suspensions.
If they are to push on and eventually taste some success this season then this is a major problem that Leeds will have to overcome, putting getting results ahead of everything else in The Championship.
Can Hecky be the man to rule the roost in the dressing room?