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Leeds swap Sinisterra for Anthony in the final hour of the transfer window
Saturday, 2nd Sep 2023 10:51 by Tim Whelan

And finally, this exhausting transfer window has come to an end. But despite the 49ers determination to hold onto as many key players as they could, the threat of legal action forced one more departure, with Sinisterra heading to AFC Bournemouth.

To be honest, I thought that Sinisterra would have been one of the first players to be snapped up as soon as we went down, having been one of the better players amidst the shambles that was Leeds United’s season of 2022/3. If he hadn’t spent so much time in the treatment room then we might not have gone down, but perhaps it was that injury record that discouraged a couple of clubs who might have made a bid for his signature.

Last week it looked like he would be with us for the rest of the current campaign, restored to the team after missing the Birmingham and WBA games due to being distracted by the issues surrounding his contract. But yesterday that infernal release clause reared it’s ugly head again, and literally at the eleventh hour he was able to force the move he wanted, back to the Premier League.

We all thought that the release cause granted to him by the previous Elland Road regime had expired on August 15th, so if he did depart it would be on the club’s terms rather than his. But according to Phil Hay, the player and his representatives argued that Leeds had not honoured the clause, as the club had rejected a bid that arrived from Nice before the deadline had expired.

So the player threatened legal action, and the 49ers reluctantly agreed, rather than face a drawn-out battle while having to pay the player’s wages while he mooched around and probably not giving his best on the field. Such is the lure of the Premier League that any club will do, as we first learned in the summer of 2016 when our then-brightest prospect Lewis Cook was lured away to the Vitality Stadium.

But that hasn’t stopped a flood of comments on social media about his lack of ambition for signing for little old Bournemouth. And there has been a bit of vitriol about the south coast club itself, with the Cherries having also signed Tyler Adams, and snatched Max Aarons from under our noses. Which is probably their belated revenge for wrecking their town in 1990. And I reckon they will disappoint our many fans wanting them to go down, as there are at least three worse squads in the Premier League this season.

At least the 49ers had a bit of leverage to ensure that we didn’t let Sini go without having a replacement in exchange, and Jaidon Anthony has traveled in the opposite direction, coming to Leeds as a straight loan swap for the rest of the season. He is another winger and is a proven player in this division. He played 45 matches in Bournemouth’s 2021/2 campaign, contributing 8 goals and 7 assists.

He began his career in Arsenal’s academy before moving to the south coast club and has been a first team regular for most of the time since. He made 30 Premier League appearances last season and has played in three of Bournemouth’s four matches in all competitions so far this season. He wasn’t signed in time to face the Wendies today, but could make his debut in the next game at Millwall, which will be nice for him.

So Anthony sounds like a good addition to our squad, but I would rather we signed a left-back, as we would still have had plenty of options in the wide positions. We did try to get a new recruit for our problem position, but Leicester’s Luke Thomas opted to move to Sheffield United instead, and a rumoured move for Charlie Taylor didn’t materialise. So let’s hope that when Firpo is fit he won’t look quite so far out of his depth in the Championship.

One other move on the final day was the inevitable departure of Cody Drameh to Birmingham, but it really made no sense for this to be another loan move, when his contract expires at the end of the season. But otherwise the squad remains intact, with Leeds rejected one final bid from Everton for Willy Gnonto, having already rejected Lyon’s approach for Rutter earlier in the week.

It was reported that Gnonto no longer wanted to go to Goodison Park anyway, so he must have had a look at the Premier League table. And he has retained his place in the Italian national squad for next week’s games, despite the claim during his little strop that playing in the Championship would harm his chances of being selected by Italy.

So now we can finally relax and concentrate on the actual football until the new year. We didn’t get everything we wanted from this window by any means, but we have several decent acquisitions and we should have a squad capable of challenging for promotion in the months to come. I can’t wait to see how that pans out.


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