The risk of losing your best players to better teams is always a scare during the transfer window. In football, it is perfectly acceptable, and it has got nothing to do with club loyalty. For the right price and motivation, a player, especially one with talent and age on his side, will gladly move to greener pastures.
And that could well be the case for Leeds United’s Charlie Taylor this summer. Stoke City, Liverpool and West Brom are among those that have shown interest in the 22-year-old attacking left-back. The Leeds Fans’ Player of the Year has just one year left on his current contract and has signalled his intention to continue his career elsewhere by rejecting any contract extensions offered to keep him at Elland Road. If he does indeed exit the Gary Monk-led side, here are 3 ideal players the White Peacocks can consider bringing in to fill his shoes.
1 Rico Henry
Last season, Walsall missed the chance to earn automatic promotion to the Championship after finishing their League One campaign in 3rd place and failing to win the playoffs. The team’s left-back and teenage sensation Rico Henry however, has a chance to move up the pyramid after an impressive season for Walsall that saw him selected as the left back in the League One Team of The Year.
At just 19, the England youth international broke into the Saddlers first team last season and was a regular part of their campaign, raking in 34 league appearances. He is small (standing at 5 ft 9 in) but mighty. His speed and energy are standout qualities that have made him catch the attention of scouts across even the Premier League.
Leeds have also shown an interest in him, and if they lose Charlie Taylor, pursuing Rico should be of utmost priority. Due to his skills and ability to make excellent crosses into the box 18, he can do succeed if moved forward into a left wing midfield role where he would then be a like-for-like replacement. Henry’s value is also only likely to rise further, meaning after some potential good performances for the club, there may also be a chance to cash in on the player in the future.
2 Joe Jacobson
A more short term option for Leeds is Wycombe Wanderers’ 29-year-old left back, Joe Jacobsen. Monk is likely to prefer a younger candidate with the potential to become a real star, but Jacobsen’s experience and quality mean he should certainly be considered as a last resort if nothing else. He was excellent as he helped his side maintain their League Two status last season, and his string of fine performances also saw him earn a spot in his league’s team of the year.
With a decade of football experience to his name, the Welsh full-back has proven to be somewhat of a late bloomer, and can be a solid replacement for Taylor. He is renowned for his strength and tough tackles, and given that he will be free to sign, the Cardiff City youth product is a risk worth taking.
3 Morgan Fox
Leeds United can save Charlton Athletic’s Morgan Fox from the shades of relegation by snapping him up. The 22-year-old Wales international had once courted interest from Manchester United due to his quality and superb defensive abilities. Now regarded as one of the best players in the League One side, Fox was one of few highlights in Charlton’s poor season last term, playing more games than any of his teammates.
The chances are he won’t remain at the Valley for next season despite being held in very high esteem, and there will be competition (albeit not too stiff) for his services this summer. Given his potential, he would come as a perfect replacement for Taylor.