Leeds United and Nottingham Forest have both enjoyed interesting and busy summer transfer windows as the English footballing giants seek to finally make their return to the Premier League.
Marcelo Bielsa’s appointment as manager of the former was met by much anticipation from Leeds fans, and the additions of the likes of Barry Douglas, Lewis Baker, and Patrick Bamford have gone some way to vindicating the positivity that was aroused following Bielsa’s arrival.
And Aitor Karanka has been busy overhauling his Forest side as well ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, with the likes of Joao Carvalho, Diogo Goncalves, Lewis Grabban, and more recently Sam Byram making the move to the City Ground as the East Midlands giants seek to return to the top-flight for the first time since 1999.
And it’s the signings of messrs Douglas and Byram which are of particular interest, so let’s take a look at how the two compare…
Leeds were seen to have pulled off quite the coup when they managed to lure left back Douglas away from Premier League outfit Wolves during the summer, and his early efforts for the Yorkshire giants suggest that they may have pulled off a transfer masterstroke.
The 28-year-old has been excellent for Bielsa’s side so far in helping them make an excellent start to the new Championship season, with the defender going straight into the Leeds backline and immediately giving them an outlet down the left-hand-side, both offensively and indeed defensively.
And having played a key part in helping Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves earn promotion to the top-flight last season, having appeared 40 times in the second tier for the West Midlands outfit, Douglas knows exactly what it takes to earn promotion from the Championship.
And it’s this know-how off the pitch, alongside his ability on it, which could be hugely beneficial in a Leeds team that have twice in the last two seasons got into position to earn promotion, and fallen short as the campaign has progressed.
TT Grade: A
Leeds fans will be well aware of the qualities that Byram will bring to Nottingham Forest this season following his loan move from Premier League side West Ham.
The 24-year-old came up through the ranks at Elland Road and went on to appear 143 times for the Yorkshire giants, netting ten times and laying on 12 assists to eventually earn a move to the London Stadium back in 2016.
At the time, Byram looked destined for big things in the Premier League, but it simply hasn’t worked out like that for the 24-year-old, with just 36 appearances to show for his efforts at West Ham, hence Forest were able to lure him to the City Ground.
Obviously, a lack of football recently suggests that it may take time for the right back to get back to his best level, but there is little doubting that Karanka’s side have done well to bring the 24-year-old to the East Midlands.
TT Grade: B+
Clearly, both men look set to play a key part in what success their respective teams have this term, with both possessing the quality and indeed the Championship experience to hugely benefit Leeds and Forest this season.
Yet that Douglas has already hit the ground running at Elland Road, alongside the fact that he helped Wolves win promotion only last season, suggests that the £1.8 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) is the ideal addition for a Leeds team that will be seeking to return to the top-flight under Bielsa this term.
Leeds and Forest fans… what do you think? Let us know!