Sunderland left-back George McCartney has today returned to Elland Road for his second loan spell with Leeds United.

A regular in our twelve match unbeaten run and with seventeen appearances to his name already, his return is undoubtedly a welcomed one. But will his short term return to the Leeds United team deal another blow to the development of Ben Parker?

A series of injuries and fitness problems have undoubtedly had an affect on Parker’s development, with the youngster spending more time in the treatment room than he does in training. Just when it seems he’s back on track, Parker will have another challenge to face as he goes head-to-head with an experienced Premier League full-back for a place in the starting XI.

Is that necessarily a bad thing though? With an experienced full-back ready and raring to go, Parker won’t be rushed back into the starting XI and that could help him avoid further injury and fitness problems. Parker could also learn a few tricks from an experienced player such as McCartney that will help him become a more consistent and solid player for Leeds United.

Personally, I think McCartney’s return is a good thing – especially for Ben Parker. The youngster will probably be a little disappointed to lose his place in the starting XI, but the challenge he’ll face in replacing McCartney is an excellent motivational tool.

There was no disguising the fact that even with Parker back, we still needed cover at left-back. Hughes, whilst deserving of praise for his efforts was unsuited to the position and with Aidy White expected to go back out out on loan and Bessone less use than a chocolate fire-guard, Larry has undoubtedly made the right choice.

  • swcoach

    I would expect Ben Parker to be disappointed, as he has just broken into the team after being out for so long. However if McCartney hadn’t gone back, I doubt Parker would have got his place.

    Parker needs a lot more fitness and strength to become a regular, and Leeds need a regular, so this is a very good positive loan deal for Leeds. Parker will more than likely get on the bench each week, and knowing Leeds luck with Left Back, he is bound to get a few run outs over the rest of the season.

    Can anyone apart from Parker himself, really complain if the defence is made up of McCartney, Bruce, O’Brien, Connolly – I personally think its our strongest back four for sometime.

  • Dje

    Am I the only who thought Parker looked over-weight last week against Arsenal? I don’t remember him being so ‘chubby’ before.

    Also, McCartney can’t play against Arsenal next week, so Parker will most likely get another run out then – a chance to stake his place for the first team, albeit against Theo Walcott.

    + I agree with swcoach on the current optimum back four.

  • Tim Campbell

    Good to see george back again, our back four was looking very settled during our unbeaten run, which george was a part of. Parker undoubtedly is still not completely up with the pace for a full 90 minutes; but I don.t know about anyone else but I actually think he would be a better centre half

  • trueyorxman

    The problem for Parker v Arsenal was he was blowing out of his arse after an hour then they bring on ‘Tom Daley’. Parker should have been subbed at same time but for whom, Hughes (v Walcott! We deffo wouldn’t be looking at a replay). We need McCartney not just for his class but to give Parker time to build himself up after 9 months out

  • Christopher Gee

    I hear Bessone kept a clean sheet for 90 minutes against Scunthorpe reserves on Tuesday….

  • Matt BB

    McCartney is in fact excellent for the development of Ben Parker, an experienced international full back, with premiership experience at 2 clubs (even though theyre west ham and sunderland..)

    Parker needs a mentor, and his influence will be invaluable in that regard. He has the basics in place, pace, good passer, good tackler, and before anyone says about being skinned by theo walcott – who hasnt been! he needs to develop his positional play better and read the runs of wingers and midfielders which will only come with experience, or being mentored by another player.

  • Craz

    I read Ken’s comments earlier saying that the Arsenal cup ‘run’ had helped to fund bringing McCartney back on loan so I don’t expect to see any great transfers from now until the end of the month. It’s pretty annoying really, when you consider that Lubo has now gone who was, according to Greg Abbott, on a really really big wage!! Surely that has funded the McCartney move and the cup money is still there for Grayson to use…. grrr!

    • Andy Flynn

      I think Lubo will have been paid off! Probably with some of the Arsenal money!!!

  • Jacko

    It a shame Aidy White is not fit. Not because I would choose him over McCartney or Parker as left back, but would be interesting to see how his pace compared to Theo!

  • trueyorxman

    @derbyshirewhite
    Don’t even mention that twats name…WORST SIGNING EVER!

  • Gryff

    Agree 100% with TSS. He’s a good lad, but so long out with injuries means i’d wrap him in cotton wool for a month or two. McCartney’s already fully fit, has worked with our back-4 already, and is an experienced Premiership full-back. Maybe Ben could learn a thing or two while he’s here?

    @djedjedje can’t say I noticed, but I didn’t see him that closely. Lads often thicken out in their early-mid twenties though so maybe some of it’s natural and some is because of the long lay-off?

    @Craz we’ll have had to pay him a termination fee even though it was mutual (maybe about £175k-£250k?) which is a significant chunk out of the kitty. On top of that, we have McCartney’s wages (which is probably/possibly higher than what we were paying Michalik) and so i’d have thought we’ve got a couple hundred K left, plus whatever we budgeted for in the first place?

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see a central midfielder or two come in, but our squad seems to be shaping up well. I just hope Paynter or McCormack actually start scoring goals soon!

  • les irwin

    parker is the longterm future at leftback but right now and against arsenal on saturday he looked a long way from being match fit ,he needs to be brought of the bench for a few months ,mccartney did well for us he got better every match and was instrumental in our un beaten run ,for me all we need now is some midfielders we are light in that department decent ones especially with killa been away and i know we have many strikers but PACE IS MISSING IN THAT DEPT

  • les irwin

    just on another subject im not happy that bates is saying that without a cup replay mccartney maybe wouldnt have been coming i said at the begining of the season that because we had a good cup run in all cups last season regarding ties .liverpool,spurs manu,and a decent jpt campaign that because in real terms we didn’t SPEND on players i would only be going top league games so therefore not going wed ,bates has said he didnt budget for cup games so therefore as we are only getting players because of this cup run he didnt budget for transfers either we doing alright but what had we been in bottom four

  • Will S

    Good news indeed.

    Parker looked out of sorts and needs to look towards next season.

    But then Bessone is one I hope comes good and keeps Parker out.

  • Max.

    @Craz I think Ken has linked the Arsenal money to McCartney specifically to avoid future questions about where that money went.

    It always felt as though McCartney would be coming back, and it does feel as though there will be more players coming in this month (albeit, not expensive ones).

    I saw an article earlier (in YEP) whereby Leeds would be looking to regain at “some” of the £250k fee they paid for Bradley Johnson … if the potential fee is that low I think Bradley will be playing out the season at Leeds.

  • Colin

    Re. Ken’s speech on funds – for me it’s just Ken doing his thing. This comment takes pressure off Grayson who’ll be getting asked by every journalist he meets ‘have you got any money to spend?’ SG can say ‘the chairman’s spoken on that and he’s in charge of the money’ and the pressure’s off SG.
    Ken’s ‘i’m so poor’ stance helps in negotiations with any other clubs and players. If he came out and said exactly how much we have then we’d get taken to the cleaners.

    Leeds have the money if the right player becomes available. If Grayson identifies a target, he just has to call Ken and leave the crafty bastard to try and wangle something with the player and his club and agent.

    Whenever Ken makes a comment, I never take it at face value. I disengage my brain and then ask myself why did the crazy man just say that? It’s always for a reason.

    Ken rarely means what he says. For example, he often praises Grayson and says how much he likes him. Believe me, if the results weren’t coming, he wouldn’t piss about, he’d dismiss SG without losing a wink of sleep. And when/if it comes to negotiating a new contract for SG, there’ll be no love-in then. He’d treat him with the same negotiation style he uses on players.

    • TheReaper08

      @colin I couldn’t agree more. Far to many people believe the waffle that comes from Ken. I think he gets immense enjoyment form the bluff and counter bluff but it always surprises me how many hang on his every word.

      • Paul C

        Absolutley spot on Reaper ! We should not take anything Bates says seriously. I have always been of the opinion the man is a liar . I especially do not believe one word he says related to the clubs finances so the drivel he has been spouting this week is no surprise , just the usual rubbish.

  • Mark Billings

    I reckon that McCartney coming back can only be a good thing. As a lot of people have said Parker didn’t look match fit against Arsenal (although he did perform well regardless).

    I think Parker just needs game time and not competitive game time so run ours in the reserves will suffice to get him back to full fitness.

    I’ve always thought that Parker is a good LB and he often looks strong and is a credit to any defence. So he should look to learn from McCartney and try to push his way into the squad!

    Personally I’ve seen a little bit too much bashing of Bessone for my liking. He might not have performed immaculately so far but clearly that doesn’t matter diddly squat to Grayson because Somma was immense and he’s still out of the team! Being a Barca trainee, Bessone has learnt at the best footballing academy the world has to offer. He should have a solid footballing base on which to build. He should have an excellent passing game. He should be able to get up front to support attacks when necessary but be in defence when the tables are turned.

    Personally I’d have given him more of a chance, or even put him in a holding role. He should be able to pass strikers into excellent positions!

  • Gryff

    @MarkBilly Bessone ‘might not have performed immaculately’

    As you say, Bessone “should have” “should have” and “should have” but he doesn’t actually have a lot to give the Leeds team.

    I once knew a nice kid who was in the Leeds Youth Academy back when we were a top-5 club. He was released in his mid-teens and was woeful on the ball and could barely run. Just having been one of a few thousand people who can claim to have been signed on at any particular academy means very little.

    Hell I studied PG History at Cambridge University and i’m about as dumb as they come! But compare my university education to R.J Evans, David Starkey, Mervyn King or even the infamous Deputy PM, and you would probably bank on me making £millions…

  • Teeth

    I think resigning McCartney is a great decision- I can see us trying for a perm deal later.
    Parker is good but if he plays against Walcott again he won’t get near him as he looked a bit ponderous and you can’t be like that against a team like arsenal.
    Bessone is a awkward one- he was so good last season he was rated best left back in the championship! I think with our demanding fans and being in a new line up defence which performed abysmally shot his confidence. You don’t become a bad player overnight and I would like to think we could possibly see the real player later.

    On another note I was wondering if somma may have the best goals to minutes on the pitch ratio on the country? Can anyone work it out?

  • The Fresh Prince of Belle Isle

    Saw Ben before the Boro game and he was more angry than anything. I doubt he’ll be too happy right now, but what can you do? This is a good signing if it happens on more permanent papers