Leeds face raid for highly rated prospect but Bielsa could close the door

Cody Drameh during the pre-season friendly between Leeds and Fleetwood, July 2021

Leeds could face a raid for one of their highly rated youth prospects, but the move might be blocked by boss Marcelo Bielsa, a journalist has claimed.

Bielsa has often given opportunities to young players during his time in charge of the Whites. Midfielder Jamie Shackleton, for example, graduated from the club’s academy and was handed his professional debut in the Argentine’s first season in charge.

He has since gone on to rack up 64 first team appearances. The latest of these came as a substitute in the weekend’s draw against Everton.

One of those from the latest crop of youngsters who Bielsa has taken a shine to is Cody Drameh.

Drameh is a 19-year-old right-back who joined the club on a four-year deal last summer.

After the move from Fulham he went on to make 23 appearances for Leeds’ under-23 side last season.

Since then he has not only featured in pre-season for the first team, but also found himself on the bench at the weekend alongside Shackleton.

His progression has reportedly caught the eye of Eredivisie side Cambuur. Journalist Andor Faber tweeted they are ‘preying’ on Drameh.

It’s possible the youngster came onto their radar after playing in the Netherlands during pre-season. He appeared in a friendly against Ajax.

Cody Drameh in action during the pre-season friendly between Leeds and Ajax, July 2021

However, Faber also said there may be a spanner in the works. That is the belief he could get playing time at Elland Road this season.

Luke Ayling looks to be the only main option Bielsa has at right-back currently aside from Drameh.

Therefore, he could serve as second choice in 2021/22. Fixtures such as tonight’s Carabao Cup second round match against Crewe are games where he could be used.

Leeds lose race for Small

Meanwhile, Leeds have been beaten to the signing of another highly-rated full-back.

That’s because Southampton have signed 17-year-old defender Thierry Small from Everton. The left-back, who came through the academy at Goodison Park, has agreed a three-year contract with Saints.

He reportedly rejected permanent terms with the Merseyside club due to wanting more opportunities to play first-team football.

Leeds were said to be keen on Small back in April. But on this occasion they have been beaten by their Premier League rivals.

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