As a club with a clear eye on the future, Leeds United do not sign many players in their primes. Indeed, the marquee spending on Rodrigo Moreno last year felt totally out of sync with the usual moves made by Marcelo Bielsa and Victor Orta. However, one thing is clear: Leeds are, regardless of the player, typically looking to buy young and with potential for development. So far, most summer links have revolved around exciting talent with pace and quality on and off the ball. A new name has recently risen in the ranks, though, and that is Nottingham Forest prospect Brennan Johnson.
The 20-year-old have been linked with a few teams in the Premier League, including Brentford and Leicester City. However, the Welsh international is believed to be most enamoured by a move to Leeds. Not only would he team-up with international teammates like Tyler Roberts, but he would get the chance to play regular first-team football in the Premier League.
The player, too, seems to fit the ideal Leeds profile. Former coach Sabri Lamouchi declared that the Forest youth prospect was one with the “right mentality”, making him the perfect pick-up for Leeds. The club has focused heavily on buying-in on young talent with high potential and who can contribute as well as continue to develop. The Welshman is just back from an impressive loan spell at Lincoln City, playing under a progressive coach in Michael Appleton.
For the Imps, he was involved in an impressive run of twelve assists and ten goals ensuring that his team made it all the way to the Play-Off Final before losing to Blackpool.
He’s got ability, class, and lacks fear; for many Leeds fans, a signing like Johnson would be a template move in the Bielsa era.
Exit confirmed for young Leeds talent
At the other end of the scale, though, Leeds announced the exit of a young star. Oliver Casey has completed his move to Championship side Blackpool. Having played a starring role in helping the seasiders make their way back to the second tier, the youngster will move on after 10 years as a player at Elland Road. Naturally, fans are always sad when a long-term academy prospect leaves the club.
However, the 20-year-old has found regular playing time at Blackpool and is unlikely to want to go back to sitting on the bench most weeks. He played three first-team games for Leeds, including a Championship match at rivals Huddersfield Town.
The time has come, though, for both sides to part ways. The Tangerines made Casey a key performer for the defender, and an agreement on a three-year deal offers the player clarity about his future and his ability to play regularly at a high level.
The deal will see Leeds collect a small fee, with a club statement saying: “Everyone at Leeds United would like to thank Olly for his efforts and professionalism throughout his time at the club and we wish him all the very best for the future.”
Best of luck to Casey, who is a young player with an excellent future in the professional game.