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Championship

Luke Murphy is far from the answer for Leeds United

The midfielder scored his first goal of the season for Burton Albion this weekend.

Mathew Nash

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Leeds United continued their demise on Friday night, as Aston Villa defeated them 1-0 in a game in which the promotion chasers were rarely threatened. Leeds again struggled to get any control over the game and continue their plummet down the Championship table.

Then, on Saturday, Leeds saw one of their own score a great goal in the Championship for Burton Albion. Luke Murphy is coming toward the end of his season-long loan at the Pirelli Stadium. On Saturday, he weaved his way into the Derby County box, before slotting home a left-foot curling drive.

(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

After his excellent performance in the vital 3-1 win, there was even a collection of Leeds fans taking to Twitter regarding his future. Some fans feel as though Murphy deserves another chance at Leeds and wish he was still at the club for their recent difficult run.

But the reasons behind such a thought process are not ideal. Leeds fans are right to be upset with the performances of current midfield operators such as Eunan O’Kane and Kalvin Phillips. But it is losing sight of Leeds’ ambition to see Murphy as a solution.

The 28-year-old was always a hard worker for Leeds but when Garry Monk decided he was not good enough to help Leeds win promotion, he was right. Murphy may have scored a great goal for Burton at the weekend, but it was, in fact, his first of the season.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

If Leeds are to finally succeed in their hope of winning promotion to the Premier League, bringing in players who were never good enough to do it before makes little sense.

What Leeds need is better recruitment his summer, with players who have promotion experience arriving. Talented newbies, not limited outcasts – and plenty of them, judging by how swiftly the first-team was decimated by injuries this season.

Some fans will always remain ‘up all night for Luke Murphy’ but he is not the solution to Leeds’ problems.

New and exciting recruits, all over the park, is what this stale looking Leeds side need. Murphy does not fit the bill.

Leeds United

After Instagram hint would Kenneth Omeruo be a great recruit for Leeds United

The Nigerian has been excellent on loan spells and could fit in perfectly at Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Earlier this week Leeds United secured the signature of Jamal Blackman on loan for the season. He was the second former Middlesbrough loanee signed from Chelsea this summer, after Lewis Baker arrived earlier in the summer.

Another player with a similar history then appeared to hint he could be next. Kenneth Omeruo commented on Blackman’s Instagram post about the move stating, “wait for me.”

What the Nigerian international meant by the comment is up for debate but, at the moment, there is no sign that Leeds are in fact interested in signing the player.

But should they be?

Omeruo could be a fine addition to the Leeds first-team.

First things first, Leeds are short at the back. Last season proved that another defender is needed at Leeds, even if Kalvin Phillips appears set for a dual midfield-defensive role.

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Omeruo could also be perfect for Leeds’ new system.

It appears Marcelo Bielsa is adopting a fluid formation at Leeds. When in defence they look a solid four. But when in attack, the full-back’s push on and a midfielder drops in, creating a three.

Omeruo showed at the World Cup this summer that he is more than adept at playing in a back-three. Nigeria’s performances improved greatly when he joined William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun in triumvirate at the back.

Capable of playing at full-back as well the 40-cap international could be a great recruit for Leeds United this summer.

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Nottingham Forest

Two pros and two cons to Nottingham Forest re-signing Lee Tomlin

The 29-year-old proved to be a shrewd piece of business last season.

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Lee Tomlin
Photo: Getty Images

Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka pulled off a masterstroke last January when he secured the loan signing of Lee Tomlin who arrived until the end of the 2017/18 campaign on loan.

The stocky attacker performed admirably for the Reds during his time with the club and there was real hope from Forest supporters that their boss would bring Tomlin back to the City Ground during the summer.

Karanka has since gone on a spending spree and signed nine new players and unfortunately for Tomlin several of those new additions have come in the way of attacking options, which could hamper his chances of coming back to the East Midlands.

According to the Mirror (16/07/2018 23:09), the ex-Bristol City man is free to depart the Cardiff City Stadium this summer following their promotion to the Premier League, although it does remain to be seen whether Forest are in the running for their former loan star.

(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Here we look at two pros and two cons to Forest completing a deal which would see the 29-year-old return to Trentside…

Pro – Undoubted quality at Championship level

Tomlin netted four goals and created three assists from his 15 appearances in the red of Forest last season but it was perhaps his overall play which saw him claim more praise from Forest’s supporters.

The Cardiff City man possesses incredible feet and his build-up play is magnificent, making him one of the Championship’s very best creative players on his day, although some inconsistencies are perhaps evident.

There is an argument to suggest that Tomlin would get in most teams at second tier level and if Forest do manage to secure his services it is a move that would undoubtedly add more quality to the squad.

Con – Loan deal more likely

Forest have already secured a couple of summer loan signings and with Sam Byram’s pending arrival from West Ham United also likely to be a loan, it begs the question of where Forest would fit all these temporary players.

Tomlin’s excessive wage at Cardiff City means that a loan deal is far more likely than a permanent deal at this stage and that might not sit well with The Reds’ hierarchy.

Only five loan players can be included in the squad of 18 and it just doesn’t seem likely that Forest will pursue anymore temporary deals – other than Byram – at this stage.

Pro – Affection with the Forest supporters

One thing that Lee Tomlin did do amicably well during his loan spell at the City Ground was build up a rapport with the long-suffering Nottingham Forest faithful.

The Reds’ loyal fan base haven’t had loads to shout about in recent times but Tomlin’s arrival last season felt like the club finally had a player who they could relate to once again and his work rate and desire to succeed really shone through.

Whilst some Forest fans might feel that the team has plenty of players capable of playing in Tomlin’s position, he would surely be welcomed back based on his popularity on the banks of the River Trent.

Con – Not really needed

Forest have spent heavily this summer and in Gil Dias, João Carvalho, Diogo Gonçalves and Hilal Soudani they have added a plethora of players capable of playing in a number of attacking positions on the pitch.

Tomlin’s arrival would feel very much like the Reds were stockpiling players, rather than signing them to actually make a difference when it comes to winning Championship games of football.

Forest already have seven or eight players on their books who are proving difficult to offload and they can ill-afford to have any extra players kicking their heels on the fringes of the first-team.

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Leeds United

Neil Warnock confirms no interest in Ronaldo Vieira, great news for Leeds United

Leeds United’s talented midfielder was linked with Cardiff City earlier this week.

Mathew Nash

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The weekend saw one of Leeds United’s top talents linked with a move to the Premier League. As reported by the Sun on Sunday [15/07/2018, page 59], Cardiff City were said to be keen on an £8 million move for England under-21 midfielder Ronaldo Vieira.

It was a move that would have left Leeds fans livid. Whilst Vieira did not have a great season last term he is still a hot prospect for the future.

But Leeds fans can, it seems, rest easy. Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock, a former Leeds manager with a rather low opinion poll at Elland Road, has confirmed his club are not interested in signing Vieira this summer.


“We’ve been linked quite a few times with him and from about four different agents I think, so I don’t know which one of them put it in the press!

“When I read a couple of things in the papers, I think ‘have I not said no about this player before?'”

– Neil Warnock on apparent Ronaldo Vieira interest


This development from Warnock is great news for Leeds. Not because they are not making a bid, but because it would have been hard to turn down for the talented midfielder.

(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

If Cardiff were keen, there is every chance Vieira would have pushed for a move.

As has been seen in the past, Leeds youngsters are not always prepared to wait for a chance in the top-flight.

Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor and Lewis Cook have all forced moves to the Premier League in recent memory and Vieira might have been the same if there was genuine interest.

Now it seems there isn’t, the 20-year-old can hopefully thrive under Marcelo Bielsa in 2018-19.

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