Leeds United are now a Premier League team again. Not since 2004 have they taken part in the top-flight of English football. No one can say they don’t deserve to be back, though.
Alongside promotion, Leeds’ academy has also been granted Category One status.
That means that the youth facilities at Thorpe Arch are now some of the best around.
And how they’ve capitalised on that since. So far this summer, they’ve prioritised strengthening the academy with very few senior players actually being signed.
Cody Drameh was brought in from Fulham while Charlie Allen signed on the dotted line after leaving Linfield behind. Former Ajax goalkeeper Dani van den Heuvel has arrived but their work isn’t going to stop there.
It’s been reported this week that the Whites are on the verge of signing Arsenal teenager Sam Greenwood for a fee potentially rising to £3.5m.
Let’s hope they don’t have another Eddie Nketiah repeat.
However, in more urgent news, Leeds are chasing a senior midfielder.
The player in question at the moment is someone who has already played for Leeds; Lewis Cook.
Reports from The Daily Star suggest the Yorkshire side are eyeing up a £15m deal to bring the 23-year-old back to Elland Road.
The midfielder’s career has rather tailed off at Bournemouth who were relegated to the Championship this summer.
Marcelo Bielsa is now tracking the midfielder and Leeds see him as an ideal candidate to strengthen the middle of the park.
The report mentions Cook’s Premier League experience, 71 games, as a key reason behind the pursuit.
GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…
Cook is one of the best players to come through the academy at Thorpe Arch so trying to lure him back to Yorkshire certainly makes sense.
The midfielder burst onto the scene primarily under Darko Milanic as a 17-year-old in 2014/15 and quickly went on to become a key member of the squad.
He played 85 times for the Whites during a stint at the club where Steve Evans called him “absolutely stunning” after a clash against Wolves in the second tier.
Leeds know what he’s capable of, but what’s crucial to bear in mind is that he hasn’t exactly set the world alight when afforded a chance, especially recently.
He hasn’t scored a single goal for Bournemouth and has registered just three assists. The 23-year-old has also had problems with injury during his four years on the south coast.
Cook was out for 13 matches in 2016/17 with an ankle problem before he ruptured his cruciate ligament in 2018. That kept the midfield man out for 30 matches and 282 days.
It would be a gamble by Leeds to bring him back up north.
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