Why Leeds United should prioritise a loan deal for Ryan Edmondson
According to claims from Football Insider (h/t Daily Star), Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa is willing to send academy prospect Ryan Edmondson out on loan in January and bring in a new frontman to spearhead the club’s push for promotion.
The 18-year-old had been linked with loan moves to several Football League clubs back in the summer but the Whites pulled the plug on a temporary move away from Elland Road, with Bielsa expressing a desire to use the starlet as an understudy to the likes of Patrick Bamford and Eddie Nketiah. (h/t Daily Star)
However, as per the report, Bielsa is keen to alter his stance on the future of Ryan Edmondson, who is yet to make a single appearance for the West Yorkshire giants this term.
The Argentine is set to task Head of Recruitment Victor Orta with finding him a new forward to solve the goalscoring crisis, which, in turn, would open the door for the youngster to leave on loan and gain some much-needed professional exposure.
Born in Harrogate, Ryan Edmondson rose through the youth ranks at York City and made his debut in the National League North before Leeds United snapped him up as a bright emerging prospect back in 2017.
The starlet made his professional bow for the Whites as a 16-year-old on the last day of the 2017-18 season as a substitute in a 2-0 home victory over QPR, but he has found regular first-team action hard to come by under Bielsa.
Having signed a three-year contract with Leeds last summer, Edmondson netted 18 goals for the U-23s to guide them to the Professional Development League (Category 2) title, but he made only a solitary appearance at the senior level.
The 18-year-old, who is held in high regard by the coaching staff at Elland Road, recently scored on his debut for England U-19s against Greece in September. However, he has continued to cut a frustrated figure at Elland Road despite the lacklustre performances of Patrick Bamford.
Leeds currently sit 3rd in the Championship standings, just behind Preston on goal difference and a couple of points behind pace-setters West Brom. However, the fact that their tally of 19 goals so far has been bettered by more than half of the clubs in the division continues to be a major headache for Bielsa moving forward.
The lack of a prolific goalscorer had proven to be a massive stumbling block for Leeds in their pursuit of promotion in the previous campaign and those numbers suggest that the West Yorkshire giants could once again fall short in the promotion race if they do not manage to find an answer to their goalscoring crisis in January.
To put things into perspective, it is a no-brainer that Leeds need to dip into the market for a prolific goalscorer when the transfer window reopens in January and the arrival of a new striker could possibly be the final piece in Bielsa’s jigsaw, whilst also allowing Ryan Edmondson to depart on loan and further his development with some much-needed playtime.
In fact, it would be a wise move for the Whites to ship him out on loan even if they do not manage to bring in a replacement, given that the 18-year-old is still not a finished article capable of delivering the goods in the Championship.
Of course, Edmondson is a player with serious potential and although he is likely to hit great heights in the future, the 18-year-old needs to play regularly to work on the flaws in his game and hone his skills to an extent that would make him capable of staking a claim for a place in Leeds’ senior ranks in the years to come.
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All in all, constantly warming the benches is not something that any player would like to settle for at the age of 18 and Ryan Edmondson leaving on loan in January could be a fair settlement for all parties involved.