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Leeds United target Gavin Whyte wins Ulster Player of the Year

The Northern Irish winger is all set for a move this summer after 24-goal season.

Mathew Coull

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Leeds United are already being linked with a host of names ahead of the summer.

The Whites need to make improvements all over the pitch after their promotion challenge dramatically fell away in 2018. One name being linked with a move to West Yorkshire is that of Northern Irish winger Gavin Whyte.

The 22-year-old has had a fine season in the NIFL Premiership. The Crusaders star has scored 24 goals for the club in 43 games in all competitions – attracting the interest of Leeds with such impressive figures and displays.

Now he has a prestigious award to add to his season’s accolades. Last night saw Whyte named the Ulster Player of the Year for his performances this campaign and few could argue he was a deserving recipient of the award.

Again, after the award, the Belfast Telegraph spoke of Leeds United’s interest in signing him, even stating ‘a dream move to Leeds United is on the cards’ in their report.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

It would indeed be a dream move for the Crusaders star, who would team up with countryman and fellow former Crues winger Stuart Dallas if the move became a reality.

This weekend is the final day of the Northern Irish season and Crusaders take on Ballymena United.

A win against the league’s bottom side would secure the title for Whyte’s side and could be seen as a perfect sign off for Whyte.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph he stated:

“I’ve enjoyed this season the most and you can see that in my performances. I’ve scored 24 goals and that’s the most I’ve scored in any season.

I’m really enjoying my football and I’ll see where it takes me.”

Leeds United look to have challengers for his signing. Belfast Live has reported that several other clubs are also looking at the player and in the past Dundee United, Everton and Celtic have all shown an interest in the young winger.

So, if Leeds are serious about signing Whyte, they should move in quickly after the final game of the season this weekend.

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Nottingham Forest

Aitor Karanka comments on Premier League trio should cheer Nottingham Forest supporters

Max Cohen

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Karanka
Photo: Getty Images

Costel Pantilimon, Jack Colback, and Lee Tomlin all spent the second half of the season on loan at Nottingham Forest, yet have returned to their Premier League parent clubs this summer.

Forest manager Aitor Karanka struck a hopeful tone when discussing the loan trio’s futures this week, with comments that should cheer the City Ground faithful.

In an interview with the Nottingham Post, the Spaniard confirmed that the club was interested in signing all three on a permanent basis. Crucially, the players also appear eager to remain at the City Ground, according to Karanka:

“The main thing for me is that all of them left at the end of the season, all wanting to come back here,”  the Forest boss told the Nottingham Post. “It means that they felt really good here; they felt the atmosphere in the changing room and confident on the pitch.”

The news will surely come as a relief to Nottingham Forest supporters, as the contributions of the Premier League loan trio were impressive and added top-flight quality to the Championship side.

(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Tomlin joined from Cardiff in January and scored four goals and assisted three in just 12 starts for Forest, adding to his reputation of scoring stunning strikes.

Another influential January arrival was Colback, who played every single minute in the league for Forest after joining from Newcastle, except for the 3-0 home victory over Barnsley in April.

Watford loanee Pantilimon was another almost ever-present for Nottingham Forest after joining on loan in January, letting in just 14 goals in 13 appearances this season.

Although a personal issue kept him out of the squad for the final four matches of the season, Pantilimon kept four clean sheets and would be a great signing due to his imposing 6’8 frame.

Wages would present an issue, but if Nottingham Forest can sign Tomlin, Colback, and Pantilimon on long-term deals this summer, Aitor Karanka’s squad would receive a massive boost ahead of the 2018/19 season.

A full pre-season with the club would benefit the impressive loanees, and once they are fully integrated at the City Ground, the trio would play a part in Forest’s anticipated top-six push next year.

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Derby County

Another blow for Derby who are set to lose talented youngster Luke Thomas

The 19-year-old is being linked with a move to the top flight.

Josh Kerr

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Luke Thomas
Photo: Getty Images

After losing manager Gary Rowett to Stoke City last night, who guided the club to a sixth-place finish, the Rams are already awaiting another setback as talented youngster Luke Thomas is reportedly preparing to leave Pride Park.

According to Gloucestershire Live, West Ham United have launched a £1.2 million bid to lure Thomas to the Premier League after Derby missed out on promotion, losing their play-off semi-final to Fulham over two legs.

Thomas moved to Pride Park in January 2016 from Cheltenham Town and the Gloucestershire club will reportedly receive a portion of any potential transfer fee.

The 19-year-old, who is from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire has so far made two substitute appearances for the first team, in home wins over Queens Park Rangers and Bolton Wanderers.

The loss of Thomas may not prove as costly as manager Rowett. However, the potential departure of the teenager comes at an awful time for Rams supporters considering he is considered one of their most promising academy players.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Thomas gained valuable senior experience after he spent time on loan at Gloucester City in 2016/17, impressing for the then National League North outfit.

He is a versatile attacking midfielder who has made a name for himself in his home county. He is considered one of the best youngsters to come out of Gloucestershire in recent years, and Derby losing him could soon prove a huge loss.

The arrival of Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham, who likes to play an attacking brand of football, will come as exciting news to Thomas who, could have a huge future at the London club if the move goes through.

The forward made 17 Premier League 2 appearances for the Rams under-23 side, scoring six goals and providing one assist.

It is a big fee to pay for a youngster but the price tag only represents how talented this forward is. If reports are true, it could be another huge loss for the Rams.

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Leeds United

Despite nightmare Sunderland season Brendan Galloway would be a hit at Leeds United

Leeds United may need to bring in a new left-back this summer.

Mathew Coull

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Last season started with renewed hope for Sunderland. The club were hoping to fight back from a woeful Premier League campaign and achieve promotion back to the top-flight. The club had a new manager and plenty of new players to help them in that pursuit. One of the new faces was Everton defender Brendan Galloway. He was signed on loan for the season by Simon Grayson, as Sunderland looked to strengthen their defensive resolve.

It ended up being an awful season both for Sunderland, and Galloway.

Sunderland suffered a second consecutive relegation, dropping to the third-tier of English football for only the second time in their history. Galloway, however, can certainly alleviate himself of much of the blame. He barely played a part in the campaign.

Galloway started the season in the team but soon found himself in the under-23s. He played just eight times for the first-team, his last appearance coming in December.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

But his actual ability should not be forgotten if teams are looking for a left-back this summer, teams like Leeds United.

Leeds lost their star left-back last summer when Charlie Taylor joined Burnley. His replacement Cameron Borthwick-Jackson proved a flop and Laurens De Bock has struggled since his arrival. With the dwindling powers of Gaetano Berardi, youngster Tom Pearce has become the starting left-back.

But Leeds are fighting to keep hold of the youngster and this summer may need to consider another left-back. Galloway is the perfect option.

(during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on April 13, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

The 22-year-old was a brilliant talent when he was at MK Dons and when he first entered the Everton fray fans at Goodison Park were very excited about his progress.

His career has certainly stalled since then, but Leeds could help get it back on track. The club did business with Everton last summer, bringing in Matthew Pennington on loan, and could, therefore, do so yet again.

Galloway needs to leave Everton in order to kickstart his career and Leeds have the right reason and opportunity to offer him.

He may have been a Sunderland flop, but Galloway still has plenty to offer at Championship level. Leeds United should seriously consider giving him that chance.

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