A flurry of signings expected as Roofe departs
Tuesday, 6th Aug 2019 23:32 by Tim Whelan
Kemar Roofe’s departure has finally been confirmed, but Victor Orta is said to be busy trying to finalise several deals before the transfer window slams shut.
The official site announced today that Roofe had gone to Anderlecht for an ‘undisclosed’ fee, though other reports have named the amount concerned as around £7million. If the Belgian club are paying in Euros Leeds must have benefitted from Sterling’s recent dive in the currency markets, but some of the money will find it’s way to the player’s former club Oxford under the terms of his original purchase.
Marcello Bielsa hinted on Sunday that Leeds had to make this sale to stay within FFP limits, but Roofe’s departure was always inevitable once it became clear that we wouldn’t be able to meet his demands for a new contract. In his time at Elland Road Roofe played 122 games and scored 32 goals in all competitions, 15 of which came last season. He would have bagged a few more if it hadn’t been for his injury record, and some fans are surprised that he managed to get through his medical at the Brussels club.
With Roofe being the latest high-profile departure from a squad that wasn’t that big at the end of last season, quite a few fans have been moaning on social media about our lack of incoming transfers in the summer so far. But fear not, because it seems that Victor Orta is working on a big finish to the transfer window, with players arriving in several different positions.
One is likely to be Liverpool’s 22-year-old Ryan Kent, and talks about a permanent deal are said to be at an advanced stage. Kent spent last season on loan at Rangers, but Leeds are a more likely destination for the player this time, as the Glasgow mob only want to take him on loan for another season, but Jurgen Klopp would prefer a permanent transfer. The transfer would be likely to cost £10 million in total, but only a portion of that fee would have to be paid up front.
Kent is a winger and I couldn’t help wondering why we needed yet another wide player when we’ve already got so many options on the flanks, but it seems that he can also play in the centre and this will fit in with Bielsa’s philosophy of adapting players to different positions. All the same, I’d rather we signed an out-and-out striker, at least as a backup for Patrick Bamford, and one such could be young Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah.
Nketiah is unlikely to break into the Arsenal first team this season, even though he’s been prolific for England youth teams in various age groups, with 21 goals in 25 appearances. He could do with regular first team football elsewhere, but he is likely to be available on a loan deal only, so it’s possible we’re looking to sign him as well as Kent, rather than either/or. Bristol City are also said to be interested in Nketiah, but after Sunday’s game it’s pretty clear which club would be better for him to join!
There had been rumours that Dwight Gayle might be coming to Leeds on loan, after he spent last season in the Championship playing for West Brom. But that turns out to have been wishful thinking from a number of Leeds fans, as there have been no serious reports linking the 28 year-old with a move to Leeds, and new Magpies’ boss Steve Bruce wants to give him a chance in the Premier League. Gayle’s absence from pre-season games led to speculation he was out of favour at the Toon, but apparently that was down to a calf injury.
A far more likely signing is 19-year-old Inter Milan striker Facundo Colidio, and according to Sky Italia we could finalise a deal quite soon. Colidio is highly rated and scored 12 goals for Inter’s youth teams last season, though initially he would be playing for the under-23s at Leeds. And it would be good to have yet another promising youngster on the books, but in this vital season we really need a few experienced first team players as well.
To keep Colidio company we are linked with another Inter player in the shape of 20-year-old Irishman Ryan Nolan, who was captain of their under 19 team last season. He’s a central defender, which is of course another area of the squad we need to strengthen after the departure of Jansson, though he’s another player who would begin life at Leeds in the under 23s.
And finally, the other position where we need a bit more cover is in goal, and Leeds Live have reported that before the deadline we are likely to sign a keeper who is currently playing in France, but they haven’t come up with a name yet. Watch this space.
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