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Why This £425,000 Rated Preston Defender Would Be A Perfect Replacement For Charlie Taylor

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Greg Cunningham

Why Greg Cunningham Would Be A Good Option For Leeds

Despite at one stage being 3rd in the league and looking up at Brighton and Newcastle, Leeds United began looking over their shoulders towards the end a season that ultimately ended in disappointment.

Leeds’ 7th-place finish left them outside the play-off spot and they are looking at yet another season outside the Premier League and face the prospect of luring a new manager on a small budget. Garry Monk had an excellent season in charge of the team, but decided not to extend his contract and recently decided to take over at nearby Middlesbrough.

Any incoming coach looks likely to have to contend with the loss of star full-back Charlie Taylor. The academy product tried to leave Elland Road this time last year and has now refused a new contract. Taylor looks set to depart and that would leave Leeds needing to source a new left-back.

Preston North End’s £425,000 rated Greg Cunningham can be considered as Taylor’s replacement and it is easy to see why. Having struggled to break into the Bristol City side as a wing-back, the Irish international moved to Preston and has bloomed into an attacking full-back.

Cunningham played 40 games last season in the Championship, starting all 40 and managed a goal and 5 assists in what was an impressive attacking performance. The left-back made 2.6 tackles, 2.4 interceptions, 0.4 blocks and 3.7 clearances per game as well, though the only slight negative being that his average 1.1 fouls per match led to 12 yellow cards and 2 suspensions during the course of the season.

The current Preston number three would also add some versatility to the Leeds United squad. Starting 34 of his Championship games last season at left-back, Cunningham impressed. However, when he moved to centre-back position, which he did three times in all, his performance improved further, meaning that he could be a live option to play in the middle as well.

At 26 years of age, Cunningham is just about putting his best foot forward now and will continue to get better over the next season or so. Preston’s fee is likely not to be exorbitant either. So you would have to conclude that any deal for him at Elland Road would be seen as excellent value.