Leeds United

Leeds United


Exclusive: Robbie Savage names Leeds star destined for super-stardom and reveals narrow Whites transfer escape

Pundit Robbie Savage and Leeds stars Georginio Rutter and Ethan Ampadu

Pundit Robbie Savage and Leeds stars Georginio Rutter and Ethan Ampadu

Leeds United can secure promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, with Robbie Savage explaining why in Ethan Ampadu the Whites have secured the transfer bargain of the season.

The Whites were in something of disarray when Daniel Farke was parachuted in to rescue a club in turmoil and back in the second tier after three seasons in the Premier League. With a host of players leaving Leeds thanks to clauses in their deals, implemented by the previous regime that allowed them to leave on loan in the event of relegation, Farke and Co had a little less than six weeks before the season kicked-off to assemble a Leeds squad that was capable of mounting a promotion challenge.

With the minimum of fuss, Farke – a two-time Championship winner with Norwich – set about reassembling a group of players which now looks almost unrecognisable from the side that was relegated from the Premier League in May.

In total, Farke managed to bring in a total of nine summer signings which fortified Leeds in their time of need. And the first of those signings made by the German – the capture of versatile Wales star Ampadu from Chelsea – has arguably proved the best.

Indeed, the 23-year-old had endured something of a nomadic existence before signing for the Whites, suffering relegation in his three previous spells on loan with Sheffield United, Venezia and Spezia, respectively.

Ampadu is also capable of playing both as a centre-half and holding midfielder. But when he signed for Leeds, Farke quickly made it clear that the Welshman would playing as a No 6 – and that decision has paid rich dividends with Ampadu not missing a single minute of their 1,080 Championship minutes played so far.

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Savage labels Leeds star Ethan Ampadu as ‘bargain of the season’

Now, ahead of Leeds’ midweek trip to Stoke in which the club can claim a sixth win in their last seven games, Savage has told TEAMtalk why he rates Ampadu as one of the best signings of the summer transfer window.

“Ethan Ampadu – I am a huge fan of his,” Savage said. “He’s been out on loan a few times but now he’s got his permanent move to Leeds and I think for the money they paid – and £7m is the figure suggested – it’s an absolute bargain for Leeds United – one of the signings of the season. The way Daniel Farke wants to play is perfect to get the best out of him.

“I know he plays in that defensive midfield role with the likes of Glen Kamara and Archie Gray to compliment him, so the dynamic of that midfield drives them forward.”

Savage recently watched with awe as Ampadu inspired Wales to a crucial 2-1 win over Croatia in a Euro 2024 qualifier and reckons he dominated two of the best around in Mateo Kovacic and Luka Modric.

“Amapdu’s taken that form into the international scene with Wales. His performance against Croatia was absolutely terrific. As a No 6, he more than held his own against Kovacic and Modric – some truly fantastic players – and he was the best player on the park.

“So listen, Ampadu and Leeds United are perfect for one another. Leeds United are a fantastic football club, a big football club, passionate fanbase and they’re third in the Championship with a real opportunity of bouncing back.

“But for Ethan Ampadu, to be playing regular football, not only will it benefit him, it’ll benefit Wales and most of all, Leeds United. So at £7m, you’ve got to say so far he’s one of the bargains of the season.”

Savage reveals narrow Leeds United transfer miss

Savage, as both a player and a pundit, has received dog’s abuse from the Leeds terraces during his time in the game, in part due to his bleached blonde hair but more for his association with arch-rivals Manchester United.

Now the 49-year-old has revealed, perhaps somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that part of that bitterness surrounds their frustration at ever signing up Savage as a player.

Questioned by Emma Jones if Robbie Savage is feeling OK as “he’s just complimented Leeds United”, Savage added: “Listen, it’s a huge football club. Yes, I get a little bit of stick there – we both know that – but it’s not my fault they could never get me to go play for them and enhance the size of the football club by me being there!”

A laughing Jones replied: “What a lucky escape that was!”

A win for Leeds at Stoke could see them close the gap on Ipswich to three points, with the Tractor Boys travelling to face Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

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