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Leeds United must heed warning of Eoghan Stokes parting shot

The Irishman was released by Leeds United in February.

Mathew Nash

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At the start of last month Leeds United released Irish forward Eoghan Stokes. The attacker, signed from St Kevin’s Boys in 2012, was at one point considered one of the club’s top prospects.

However, his development seemed to stop. After being tipped for the first-team by the likes former academy boss Neil Redfearn and former head coach Steve Evans he seemed to fall away.

Under Garry Monk he seemed a forgotten man and Thomas Christiansen was not going to give him a chance.

Two weeks after Leeds and Stokes had a new team. The youngster joined League of Ireland side Bohemians and immediately was thrust into first-team action.

during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Newport County and Leeds United at Rodney Parade on January 7, 2018 in Newport, Wales.

His struggles at Leeds were a shame, considering he had shown so much promise at the club. This week Stokes spoke to the Herald about his time at Leeds, where he made an interesting assertion:

“I was doing well over there, scoring goals every week, but it was unfortunate that at Leeds there was a constant change of manager, constant rotation of players and that didn’t benefit me.”

Stokes’ point may almost seem like an excuse, but he has a point. In the six years the Irishman was at Leeds he saw nine managers come and go at Elland Road. Just after his release, Christiansen was given the boot as well.

Many Leeds fans will point to the example of Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips as proof it can still be done. However, both have struggled this season and another managerial change keeps Leeds’ stability slipping.

LEEDS, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 19: Britt Assombalonga of Middlesbrough holds off a challenge from Ronaldo Vieira of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Middlesbrough at Elland Road on November 19, 2017 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Leeds have a fine academy and under new director Victor Orta it has been revamped, with foreign talent coming in.

Leeds’ youngsters though need to see a direct pathway into the first-team and that means a head coach sticking around for more than two minutes.

Stokes needed a coach in the first-team who had a long-term plan to involve him. Right now that is what Leeds’ current crop needs and was likely the plan when Christiansen was originally appointed.

Leeds’ new owner Andrea Radrizzani must ensure he keeps things at Elland Road as stable as much as possible. If that remains the case at Leeds, then talents like Stokes may not feel they are fighting a losing battle in the Leeds under-23s.  

Brentford

One winner and one loser as Florian Jozefzoon chooses Derby over Leeds

The 27-year-old looks set to sign for the Rams.

Max Cohen

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Jozefzoon
Photo: Getty Images

When Brentford confirmed on Wednesday that the club had accepted a bid for attacker Florian Jozefzoon, it seemed Derby County were the frontrunners.

However, reports of a Leeds United bid added to the transfer drama, before Jozefzoon eventually chose the Rams over Elland Road, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The reported decision would come as a severe blow to Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United, as the club would miss out on yet another transfer target this summer.

However, Frank Lampard and Derby County will be delighted at another transfer coup, as the allure of the England legend is proving to be a great way of attracting players to Pride Park.

(Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Loser: Leeds fans

Although there are still a number of weeks left in the window, Leeds supporters are right to be worried about the lack of permanent signings.

So far, the club have made just two loan agreements with Lewis Baker and Jamal Blackman of Chelsea. While the two are certainly smart acquisitions, they are not of the quality that will fire Leeds to promotion.

There is still no need to panic, as Marcelo Bielsa will surely attract some top talent as well— but to see their direct Championship rivals beat them to Jozefzoon will be worrying.

Winner: Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend has done it again. After securing the double loan swoop of promising youngsters Harry Wilson and Mason Mount, Lampard looks set to acquire the services of the former Dutch Under-21 international.

In his first transfer window as a manager, Lampard has done well to convince key targets to join his project at Pride Park, a valuable skill that will serve him well in his coaching career.

Derby now look set to mount a serous promotion challenge; Leeds will have to strengthen further to be able to say the same.

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Aston Villa

Keeping Henri Lansbury could be blessing in disguise for Aston Villa

Aston Villa cannot find a buyer for the midfield maestro.

Mathew Nash

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Aston Villa’s financial troubles this summer seem to have them ready to sell some of their high-earners and more valuable assets.

The Mirror report today that midfielders Mile Jedinak and Birkir Bjarnason could be out the door this summer, with Jack Grealish currently in talks with Tottenham Hotspur.

However, the same report suggests Henri Lansbury will be sticking around.

However, it does not seem that Aston Villa want to keep him.

The report claims they will only be keeping the £2.7 million midfielder because nobody is willing to pay up to sign the player or take on his £40k-a-week wages.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

It is certainly no surprise to hear that Aston Villa want to offload Lansbury. He struggled to play a part in Steve Bruce’s plans after joining from Nottingham Forest.

Last season he played just 10 times for the club and has struggled since arriving at Villa Park.

But fans of Aston Villa must remember just how impressive a player Lansbury has been in the Championship.

In the 2015-16 season, there was a case to say that the then-Forest midfielder was the best in the division. In fact, many neutrals would have suggested that Lansbury was the Championship’s best midfielder just two years ago.

It could be that keeping Lansbury will be a blessing in disguise for Aston Villa. If he can find his Forest form, then he will be like a new signing for the club.

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Leeds United

Leeds United round-up: Heckingbottom on Bielsa backing, Jozefzoon miss and Diagne wages

All the latest news and gossip from Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Heckingbottom speaks  

Former boss Paul Heckingbottom has spoken publicly for the first time since departing Leeds United in June. He was let go at the start of June after failing to turnaround Leeds results significantly in a four-month spell.

He told talkSPORT that he suffered from a ‘change of direction’ from the club.

He was replaced by Marcelo Bielsa this summer and hopes the Argentine will get the backing he deserves at the club.


“He should be saying the same things I was saying and hopefully he gets the backing and the support to make changes and give the fans there what they’re crying out for.”


(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Jozefzoon to Derby

Leeds United will not be signing Florian Jozefzoon this summer. The Dutchman has been linked with a move to Elland Road this summer. Yesterday, it was reported a deal had been agreed between his current club Brentford and an unnamed Championship side.

That team is not Leeds, but Derby County.

As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the winger is set to join the Rams for a fee in the region of £2.75 million, despite Leeds showing late interest.

Diagne wage trouble

Leeds have been linked with a move for Kasimpasa striker Mbaye Diagne this week. However, a report today suggests a stumbling block.

Turkish Football suggest he will cost around £3.6 million but that Leeds will struggle to afford his wages as talks get advanced.

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