Leeds target Watkins after Brewster snub

04 Sep 2020 08:19 am, by Ellandback1

Good Morning. It's Friday 4th September, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...

Klopp - Brewster will not be sold this transfer window

Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp has told leeds that Rhian Brewster will not be sold during this transfer window. The news come as Leeds were about to launch an audacious bid to bring the talented 20 year old to Elland Road on a permanent deal. Unfortunately for the Whites, the England U21 International has impressed the Liverpool hierarchy that much, that they now have first team plans fore him.

Different media sources including Football Insider have identified four potential alternatives, all of which are apparently realistic targets. The favourite is Brentford striker Ollie Watkins. He scored 26 goals last term, and at 24 years of age, should only get better!

Chelsea reject Michy Batshuayi is also reportedly to be on the ER radar. His miserably spell at Stamford Bridge has seen the 26 year old being loaned out each season since his transfer in 2016.

With first team plans for Rhian Brewsters, striking partner Divock Origi should move down the pecking order. The 25 year old made 42 appearances for the Reds last term, mainly from the bench. He netted 5 times.

Bookies have placed Leeds as bookies' favourites to sign Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke. The former Liverpool and Aston Villa forward could be let go for around £7m.

Late Pre Season friendly organised for this weekend

Leeds will face Portuguese side Paços de Ferreira in a pre-season friendly at Thorp Arch on Saturday, according to Renasenca.

The Portuguese outlet reports that the friendly will be played behind-closed-doors at 1pm on Saturday.

The UK Government recently removed Portugal from its list of countries with travel restrictions, meaning teams from the two countries can now face each other.

Leeds Utd away top on sale NOW...

The Leeds Utd away jersey goes on sales from 9am this morning.

What do we think?

Concern growing over Bielsa's contract

With just over a week until the Premier League kicks off theoretically Leeds could find themselves Managerless! Marcelo Bielsa is out of contract. He and his team could walk out on Leeds any time he wanted!

Obviously having fought tooth and nail to get them to the promised land, that is not likely to happen. Even for somebody of Bielsa's pedigree, it must be an honour to manage in the Premiership.

The Whites have been negotiating with Bielsa and his legal team back in Argentina, and although close, there seems to be a couple of sticking points. Leeds want Bielsa to sigh a two year deal whilst the Argentine is instistant, twelve months at a time is plenty.

The West Yorkshire side have done everything that is expected of them. They continue to identify players on Bielsa's wish list, and bring them to Elland Road. Radrizzani has actually gone one step further. Di Paul was not even on Bielsa's wish list. Radrizzani targeted the Argentine International himself!

To be honest, I don't know how Bielsa will see that?

View all Showing latest 5 comments of 24...

lufc1304 wrote on 05 Sep 2020 11:51 am

faaip wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:48 pm Pretty much ditto all of that ...but don't forget stripes are thinning
Good point!! ;-)

weasel wrote on 05 Sep 2020 09:12 am

A year developing under Bielsa will probably still see them learn more than they would in the rest of their careers. You just have to see how highly White speaks about what he learnt and how Phillips has described England's training as possession based drills (so likely just a small pitch 6v6 or 7v7) rather than them actually being developed as players and learning something new.

I bet training with England is like going on a holiday for KP compared to training with Bielsa.

Aussieleeds wrote on 04 Sep 2020 10:56 pm

A few targets saying they’d love to work with Bielsa, but with Bielsa only wanting to commit for a year, it wouldn’t be surprising for these players to be a little concerned about committing longer term.

faaip wrote on 04 Sep 2020 07:59 pm

Bielsa loves McKinstry, rates him very highly...he won't be far away from prem quality soon if MB has anything to do with it

Ellandback1 wrote on 04 Sep 2020 06:11 pm


Stuart McKinstry’s days off at Leeds United are spent on the road with his father, driving home to the west coast of Scotland. They stay for the night before making the return journey, getting McKinstry back to Thorp Arch for training.

Leeds took the boy out of Motherwell when they signed McKinstry but they had no chance of taking Motherwell out of the boy. He was 16 months old when his family took him to his first game at Fir Park, sorting out his allegiance before Rangers or Celtic could get their hooks into him.

He was a mascot, a youth-team player and very nearly a schoolboy debutant for the Scottish club after making the bench against Kilmarnock on Boxing Day in 2018. Motherwell suffered three injuries in the first half and manager Steve Robinson’s substitutions were used up in a flash. “I can’t pretend I wasn’t a bit gutted for him,” says his mother, Karen.

McKinstry, Leeds’ 17-year-old winger, comes from the tightest of families, so much so that when Leeds made him an offer to join them last summer, he toyed with the idea of saying no. Even when the club invited him down to Yorkshire, wowed him with a tour and gave him a shirt with his name on the back of it, McKinstry worried about leaving his parents and sister behind.
“I wanted him to go for it,” Karen says. “So I asked him if it would make a difference if his dad went with him. That was it. He said, ‘If dad comes with me, I’ll go tomorrow’.”

McKinstry signing his first pro deal at Motherwell with (left to right) – academy coaches David Clarkson, Stephen McManus and Stevie Hammell

His father John, who was a Motherwell trainee in the 1980s, had a job in logistics north of the border. His company agreed he could work remotely but if they had refused his request to relocate, he would have quit and gone with his lad regardless. The two of them now live together in a flat in Wetherby, away from Karen and McKinstry’s sister Lauren.
“It can be a struggle,” Karen says, “but it’s what we had to do. When Stuart came back from Leeds after going down for the first time, I could see his wee brain going round and round. Seeing what was down there blew him away.”
During his visit, McKinstry took in an under-18s game against Everton. It did not leave him feeling out of his depth or inadequate. Leeds were confident he was more than up to playing for a leading academy in England — so confident they were willing to pay Motherwell £400,000 for him — but the decision was McKinstry’s. Neither he nor Leeds have looked back since he chose to take the plunge.

McKinstry was told to report to Thorp Arch on July 1 last summer but got a call soon after to tell him that Marcelo Bielsa wanted him there a week early to put him through the examination all academy players in the highest age groups are given by the Argentine manager.

Leeds’ head coach liked McKinstry’s style and told him to expect some time with the under-23s, a reassuring seal of approval. The winger showed quick feet, looked comfortable using either one, and had the pace and upper-body strength to beat a full-back and open up his flank. He played seven times for the under-23s last season, scored twice in a Premier League Cup tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers, and his name has been mentioned positively in dispatches from Thorp Arch over the past 12 months.

What stood out more was his performance for Leeds Under-18s against Manchester United in the FA Youth Cup in February.

Leeds lost 1-0 after Henri Kumwenda’s red card in the second half but McKinstry shone while the game was 11-vs-11, cutting the opposition open with his speed of thought and balance, and showing a willingness to carry the ball. He gained some versatility at Motherwell, who liked to use him on the left wing and give him scope to cut inside onto his stronger right foot.

There were two moments in the space of six second-half minutes at Old Trafford where his trickery and confidence revealed itself.

Manchester United tried to double up on McKinstry (marked below in blue) with their left-sided players but he found a way to evade them on both occasions, skipping into space and delivering dangerous crosses into the box. Those attacks demonstrated an ability to work in tight spaces and fashion chances from difficult positions — the wing play Bielsa looks for at first-team level.

Leeds are nurturing their academy in a way where the potential in it is rife.

They have midfielder Nohan Kenneh, a supremely-gifted England Under-17 international, who turned professional in January. They have Charlie Cresswell, a tidy, composed centre-back who is the son of former Leeds striker Richard Cresswell. As a result of concerted recruitment this summer, they have former Fulham right-back Cody Drameh and a striker in Joe Gelhardt who already looks to coaches and senior players at Leeds like a steal from troubled Wigan Athletic at £700,000. It is a competitive and aspirational field, and one Bielsa watches with interest.

McKinstry is very much in the pack, a player Leeds always reference when you ask who might make the step up next. The club tied him to a new three-year contract on Sunday. He had his home comforts in Motherwell and plenty to cling onto when, as Karen jokes, “they came and took my boy away” but Leeds was a different world and too big a draw for him and his family to resist, even though it split them in two.

He gave Leeds a chance and Leeds got their man.

It was Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows who said to McKinstry: “Go to Leeds and take a look. At least take a look and see what you think.”