Leeds United

Leeds United

Championship

Leeds Utd confirm arrival of Premier League defender who’ll replace club stalwart and disastrous signing

Man City right-back Rico Lewis, Burnley right-back Connor Roberts

Leeds United have announced the arrival of a Premier League defender who’ll provide Daniel Farke with much-needed cover in a weakened position.

The promotion-chasing Whites waved goodbye to two right-backs in the winter window. Club stalwart Luke Ayling joined Middlesbrough on a six-month loan. Elsewhere, loanee Djed Spence was unceremoniously sent back to Tottenham who wasted no time offloading him to Genoa.

Hopes were high Spence would prove a roaring success with Leeds. Indeed, his marauding displays when last in the Championship with Nottingham Forest live long in the memory.

However, amid apparent attitude issues and persistent injuries, Spence featured just seven times for Leeds before being marched back to parent club Tottenham.

Spence and Ayling both leaving left the right-back position severely weakened. Archie Gray has performed to an exceedingly high standard in the position for much of the season, though is a central midfielder by trade.

Furthermore, full-back Sam Byram is right-footed, though generally plays at left-back at this stage in his career.

As such, signing a new right-back became a priority for Leeds in the winter window and a loan swoop for Burnley’s Connor Roberts was completed prior to Thursday’s 11pm deadline.

Roberts already gunning for permanent move

Leeds announced Roberts had arrived on a six-month loan via their official website. The deal does not contain an option or obligation to buy.

However, when speaking with the Athletic’s Phil Hay soon after his arrival in west Yorkshire, Roberts revealed he’s already targeting a permanent move to Elland Road.

“Football’s a funny game so I’ll be doing my very best to make a good impression on and off the pitch and maybe in the future it can change from a straight loan,” said Roberts.

“At the moment, it’s just about coming here and trying to help. To be a bit-part player for Burnley this year has been a slight disappointment.”

Roberts will now have the chance to prove Vincent Kompany and Burnley wrong by making his mark with Leeds. Of course, he also has the small matter of Archie Gray to contend with too.

Elsewhere, Leeds also announced winger Ian Poveda has joined fellow Championship side Sheffield Wednesday on loan for the remainder of the 2023/24 campaign.