Diagouraga ‘excited by challenge’ after sealing Leeds transfer

Date published: Monday 25th January 2016 3:51

Toumani Diagouraga: Joins Leeds on deal to June 2018

Toumani Diagouraga: Joins Leeds on deal to June 2018

Toumani Diagouraga admits he can’t wait to take up the challenge of playing for Leeds United after sealing a £700,000 switch to the club from Brentford.

The French midfielder, 28, has joined the Whites from Brentford on a deal to the summer of 2018 and, in a twist of fate, is in line to make his debut against his former club on Tuesday night.

The player underwent his medical at Elland Road on Friday after the Whites had a bid accepted and he officially put pen to paper on the switch on Monday afternoon.

Diagouraga, who was Brentford’s longest-serving players and made nearly 250 appearances during his time with the club, told the club’s official website: “It came about very fast.

“Once I was aware Leeds were interested and a bid had been accepted, I came straight up here and made it happen.

“It was a difficult decision to leave Brentford but I felt the time was right for me to take on a new challenge.

“It’s a massive club with a massive fan base. It’s a club that belongs in the Premier League and one that should really be fighting for promotion.

“I’ve played here against Leeds a few times. Every time you come you see the stadium and the supporters and you know it’s a massive club.

“I’m sure most players would love to play in a stadium like this. It brings big expectations, but if you can’t handle that, then you shouldn’t be here.”

Head coach Steve Evans added: “Toums is a player who has been outstanding for Brentford in recent seasons.

“To many people in the game, myself included, he was one of two or three key players who led Brentford to the play-offs last season.

“Our supporters will quickly see that Toums is a big, strong, controlling midfield player who will boss the middle of the park on more occasions than many in the Championship.

“He is a player, alongside Liam Bridcutt, that I identified when I first joined Leeds United as someone that I’d really like to bring to Elland Road.

“With the fantastic support of Mr Cellino, we have been able to secure the signature of this talented boy.

“He has a big physical presence, but what will not go unnoticed at Elland Road is his ability to pass the ball.

“It has made him a sought after commodity in the last few days. He has chosen Leeds United over several other clubs in the Championship and of course another huge club up in Scotland.”

Diagouraga, a former Paris Saint-Germain trainee, has already featured 27 times in the Championship so far this season having established himself as a key figure at Brentford following his arrival from Peterborough United in 2010. The Frenchman collected the Bees’ Supporters’ Player of the Year award last term after featuring 43 times in all competitions along the way to helping his side reach the play-off semi-finals.

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