Leeds United are only open to the prospect of academy graduate Ryan Edmondson leaving Elland Road on loan in January should they first secure a replacement, according to Football Insider.
The 18-year-old is yet to feature under Marcelo Bielsa so far this term (TransferMarkt), and the Whites’ coaching set-up feel he would benefit from time away from West Yorkshire playing senior football in the lower EFL divisions.
Paul Heckingbottom handed Edmondson his senior Leeds debut at the age of 16 when the forward came off the bench against Queens Park Rangers in May 2018, but Bielsa has only called on the striker once since his arrival, with the Argentine utilising the York-born prospect as a substitute at home to Birmingham more than a year ago.
Leeds received multiple offers for the teenager during the recent summer window, with lower league sides looking to acquire his services on a temporary basis (Football Insider), however, Bielsa refused their advances despite showing a willingness to sanction a deal earlier in the market.
Bielsa had a change of heart over his plans for Edmondson as he felt the striker could be a worthy third-choice behind Patrick Bamford and Arsenal loanee Eddie Nketiah, although he is yet to be an option explored.
The risk of an injury to Bamford or Nketiah leaving Bielsa with one senior striker is the reason he will now deny any loan request in the winter market, should one be received, as the Whites head coach is reticent to attacking the Championship campaign with one fully-fit first-team forward.
Leeds coaches are aware that Edmondson would benefit from a loan spell to either League One or League Two – where interest was strong right up until the transfer deadline at the start of the month – but accept that the youngster will only be allowed to leave if a replacement can first be signed.
Since his last Leeds first-team appearance, Edmondson scored in his England U19 international debut under the gaze of senior boss Gareth Southgate (Leeds Live), and has continued to thrive in the Professional Development League.
Leeds refusing to allow Edmondson to leave in January on the provision that they fear an injury will leave Bielsa with one option in attack is more than a valid reason to wave away any approach for their academy graduate.
The Whites’ ambition to leave the Championship and return to the Premier League arguably far outweighs their immediate need to be concerned that Edmondson’s career will stagnate, especially as the forward is still only 18 and is still learning under Carlos Corberan in the U23s ahead of a potential move next summer or a full promotion into the first-team at Elland Road.
That said, if Leeds can secure a replacement in the summer to occupy the third-choice peg, Edmondson has to be allowed to leave, otherwise they risk regretting wasting a year of his career if he does not taste any more Championship action – which is unlikely on the current form of Bamford and Nketiah.
Leeds fans, would you risk the potential of only having one fit senior striker, or would you keep Edmondson to provide the cover if needed? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Leeds United notifications!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience