And still the signings keep coming
Thursday, 3rd Aug 2017 17:52 by Tim Whelan
Andrea Radrizzani has outlined his plans for the future, and on the eve of the new season Leeds have completed two more signings.
20 year-old Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has arrived on loan from Manchester United for the whole season. He first played for the Old Trafford mob under Louis van Gaal in 2015, and made 14 appearances under the dutchman, but Jose Mourinho doesn’t seem to rate him quite so highly. Last season he was loaned to Wolves for a spell, and he has been left out of their squad in pre-season.
He might have been signed as a prospect for the future, but as a left-back he must be a contender for a first team slot right away, after the departure of Charlie Taylor. Tyler Denton is our only other squad member in that position, and if Borthwick-Jackson’s loan spell is a success we will have the option of converting it to a permanent transfer.
And we’ve signed another highly rated youngster in the shape of Bulgarian striker Kun Temenuzhkov, who joins us from Barcelona. He has completed his medical and will join the Leeds United Academy. It will be a while before he is considered for the first team, but Bulgarian football writer M Shumaov described him as “Bulgaria’s hottest prospect” on Twitter.
Andrea Radrizzani told the BBC that the signing of Temenuzhkov is part of his policy to strengthen the youth academy. “This time we have signed nine players for the top team, for the first team and we have probably signed 12 between Under-18 and Under-23. Also, I will look to invest more in our scouting system and within the UK football environment.”
And he also said that he has invested nearly £100m in the club already. This includes the takeover from Massimo Cellino, the repurchase of the stadium, the start of the work to improve the facilities and of course the transfer fees and wages spent to improve the playing squad. And probably a bob or two to cover ongoing losses.
And he said that he hopes that we will at least reach the play-offs as a result of this largesse. “It’s a natural goal. Then I’m happy to welcome a good surprise and a better year than what I expect, we need to work hard but at the end, our target is the play-offs. We invested in the club to improve the quality. Last year we had a good season, many young players but we failed in the beginning of the season and at the end of the season.”
But of course we really need to be back in the Premier League in a couple of years. “We have massive support from the fans but we also need time because we are building a project, Rome was not built in a day. If we cannot make it this year, we work harder to make it next year. It is a project, this year we build a good foundation.”
This is a project that hopefully will start again in the Premier League where I think we belong but we need to focus on every single step of the process and be ready for when these will happen.”
Many of us think we’ve already waited too long, but it sounds like we can at last be thankful that we’ve got a competent and honest chairman who can take the club forward. Let’s hope it all works out this time, if not this season then some time soon.
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