Leeds head to Ireland without Lewis Cook

As Leeds United embark on yet another pre-season campaign ahead of their sixth straight season in the second tier of English football, the loss of young midfielder Lewis Cook has not provided supporters with the confidence boost in which they so craved. The reining Football League young player of the year moved from Leeds last week, and joined Premier League side Bournemouth, in what could eventually reach a reported £10million in transfer fees. With the losses of Sam Byram, Jonny Howson and Fabian Delph in recent times, Leeds fans will be hoping new manager Gary Monk can provide some much needed stability to Elland Road ahead of another demanding season in the Championship.

Despite finishing in twelfth position last time around, Leeds’ odds on getting promoted again are relatively favourable among the bookmakers, with Coral offering 11/1 in the Championship football odds. The arrival of Oxford United marksmen Kemar Roofe, along with five other new additions is certainly helping to rebuild the belief at Elland Road, with fan once again in confident mood ahead of the upcoming campaign. The team are currently stepping up their preparations away in Ireland, with Monk keen for his new signings to fully ingratiate themselves within the squad.

Swede Joel Ekstrand had looked like being the newest arrival to the Whites squad this summer, however the club have now seemingly pulled out of a deal for the defender over concerns surrounding his fitness. However, the likes of experienced goalkeeper Rob Green, former Swansea duo Kyle Bartley and Matt Grimes, and Swedish forward Marcus Antonsson should more than make up for such a loss. The player signed from Swedish side Kalmar FF was the top scorer in the Allsvenskan before his departure, and is already impressed by his new surroundings.

With Monk having been out of work since losing his job at Swansea City, Leeds are given odds of 4/1 by Coral to face relegation come the end of the season, in what has the potential to be a season of transition at Elland Road. With Championship new boys Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Norwich all looking to stamp their authority from the start, it could well be another topsy-turvy season for many clubs, including Leeds.

  • jimmy07837

    Hi there he has left for £30.000 a week sell Taylor get as much as we can let Garry monk and all of the staff get on with the job of getting us back to the premier league don’t want people who don’t want to play for leeds united and you have also got to give credit to massimo cellino for trying to get some top class signings in and I expect a few more players. can’t wait to get my leeds shirt. on Saturday. Come on leeds,

    • Matthew

      The amount he left for is irrelevant. The club should have sold a vision to him, a vision of stability and one that would see it promoted. And then the club should have put a long term contract infront of him. Spending another season in the Championship, only to get promoted wouldn’t be too bad for someone Cooks age. As he’d get that sort of money if we were in the Prem anyway.

  • Matthew

    I can’t help but feel this is a catastrophic mistake by Cellino and one that will bite the club in the arse. He has just significantly weakened the midfield and hasn’t replaced him yet. Perhaps “Replaced” is the wrong word, I doubt we’ll ever get someone close to Cooks talent in.

  • rp11495

    Matthew did you ever think that he might have wanted to leave the club? The club isn’t in the Premier League, and he wants to test himself in the Premier League. Perhaps Leeds could get promoted this season, but it is a long shot with Newcastle and Villa in the league. I personally think Cookie could have done with another season at Leeds, because he was good last season without absolutely bossing the league like Dele Alli did before he left. But he has Premier League quality for sure. Bournemouth were interested for a while, so he probably finally decided to go and try out the Premier League under a good young manager at an up-and-coming club. The club cannot force him to stay if there is a club interested and he would like to go, because that wouldn’t be good for anyone.

    • Matthew

      Why do you automatically assume its the player and not the club? I don’t really want to repeat myself, but do you honestly believe if this club was ran properly from the get go by Cellino that he would have left?

      • rp11495

        You have a point. The instability could have been a reason that he left. I’m no Cellino fan, but to be fair to him it seems like he really does want to keep hold of our best players. He hasn’t said much about Cook as far as I know, but he was very vocal in saying that Byram should stay before he left and saying that Charlie Taylor should stay. Maybe Cook would have stayed if there was more stability at the club, but clearly there is also the factor that he is ambitious, wants to play Premier League football and earn more too, which Leeds can’t offer now and perhaps not any time soon. I personally think if someone wants to buy the club then that would be great. For now we have to put up with Cellino if there are no wealthy buyers, because otherwise we would have no funds. Grimes is a good player so hopefully he can fill the gap somewhat, and there are young midfielders in the squad that are talented too.

        • Matthew

          Noted, but a more cynical person might believe he was sold to cover the costs of existing transfers and the court fees. Have you noticed how there’s literally no sign of replacements for Cook, or further squad strengthening? Where did that money magically disappear too? You would think that a club that has done a season ticket deal promising a small refund if we don’t make the top 6 would have invested that money back into the team.

          • rp11495

            I disagree. Matt Grimes is the replacement for him and he’s very highly rated, no less by Garry Monk who signed him for Swansea. He plays in the No. 10 role which Lewis Cook was good in. Plus you’ve got guys like Mowatt and Phillips who should be kicking on this season, and Ronaldo Vieira who can make an impact too. I feel we’re OK for central midfielders, although we need another defensive midfielder like Bridcutt (preferably him again). I totally disagree that there has been “literally no further squad strengthening” when in fact there has been a lot. Overall the signings this season have been impressive I think, and Monk has clearly signed people that he rates highly. I’m really excited about Roofe, and I remember him ripping Swansea a new one in the FA Cup last season. Another winger and a centre-half (would have been good to have signed Rob Holding) would be good. Monk himself has said that he will be signing a few more people soon so have faith.