Tag Archives: Lewis Cook

Leeds Utd To Offer New Deal To £10m Starlet To Fend Off Man Utd Interest – reports

Leeds United are set to offer starlet Lewis Cook a new contract in an attempt to keep him at Elland Road, as reported by the Daily Star.

The young midfielder has impressed considerably since making his debut this season, and has become an integral part of head coach Neil Redfearn’s side as they battle against relegation to League One.

Cook’s importance to the team can be seen by the fact that Redfearn chose to rest him in the FA Cup clash with Sunderland on Sunday afternoon.

Manchester United have been keeping tabs on him, however, and as a result, there are fears that the England Under 18 star could depart Elland Road.

Owner Massimo Cellino is very keen to see him remain in West Yorkshire, and has therefore offered him a pay increase, to £4,000 a week.

However, should one of the Premier League’s big sides come calling, Cellino will demand a staggering £10 million to sell the battling midfielder.

Leeds Utd Starlet Lewis Cook Could Finally Replace Legendary Batty

Amitai Winehouse (@awinehouse1)

Leeds United have been blessed in recent years by the exceptional run of young stars produced by their academy.

It is to the benefit of those stars that Neil Redfearn, the man who oversaw their development, is now in charge of the first team, having been appointed as head coach after the sacking of Darko Milanic.

His arrival has heralded the full integration of Lewis Cook, who was kept on the fringes of the first team by the two previous coaches.

While his partner in the middle of the park, Alex Mowatt, has won most of the plaudits, understandable given his recent goalscoring exploits, Cook offers significant hope for the future.

Leeds’ great sides have always had a steely option in midfield.

The most famous player to play in that role was Scottish midfielder Billy Bremner, who came to define what Leeds fans expected from a player.

Billy Bremner

Tiny but filled with a combative spirit, Bremner possessed talent in bucket-loads, but also knew how to handle the darker sides of the game.

Bremner also had a key role in the development of another Leeds midfield great, David Batty.

Batty made his debut in 1987 under Bremner during his spell in charge of Leeds, and like the Scot, Batty was small but tough.

The relationship between the two was such that Bremner used to make Batty come to his office every morning to drink a sherry with a raw egg stirred into it, due to a belief that Batty was slightly too lightweight to succeed.

Batty prospered from there, winning Division One with Leeds under Howard Wilkinson, the Premier League with Blackburn and making 42 appearances for England.

Batty’s retirement in 2004, after his return to Leeds, came after a long spell out of the side, but many Leeds fans would tell you that the Whites have never really replaced him.

There have been attempts to bring in defensive midfielders, but they’ve never been like Batty or Bremner, strong but skilled, supreme players but with an edge to their game.

Cook looks like he could be the first true replacement for Batty in a decade.

Lewis Cook

Like the former Newcastle man and Bremner, Cook stands at under 5 ft 10 inches, but those who have seen him this season would be aware that no opponents can bully him out of the game.

Cook wins nearly two tackles every 90 minutes, cutting opponents off before they can start an attack.

He also has the passing skill that the ex-Leeds duo possessed, able to launch attacks after picking the ball up front defence.

It’s not just in recycling play that he impresses, with Cook providing over a chance every 90 minutes.

One of the major plus points of Redfearn’s regime so far is that Cook has played every game.

He has made the defensive midfield role his own, and with more attack minded talent around him, has impressed in every game without demanding much attention.

The clash with Blackburn on Saturday, the team with which, to Leeds fans’ chagrin, Batty won the Premier League crown, symbolises an opportunity for Cook to further cement himself as the natural replacement to Bremner’s old charge.

When Batty arrived, Leeds were at a similar mediocre ebb in their history.

While it is risky to put too much pressure on the 17 year old, if he can have a similar effect as Batty did, Leeds could finally start climbing once again.

Why Young Midfield Starlets Have To Start For Leeds Against Wolves

Leeds have struggled to match the fluidity of Neil Redfearn’s caretaker spell in charge since the permanent appointment of Darko Milanic, and are still looking for a victory under the former Maribor coach.

Part of the reason behind the struggles has been a lack of consistency in midfield, with Milanic changing the four selected on a weekly basis.

While it could be suggested that it is time to change the shape away from a diamond in the centre, Leeds did have success under Redfearn playing that system, and there is no reason to believe it won’t work, given the personnel available to Leeds.

What is an issue, however, is that Milanic does not seem to be willing to consider playing three of Leeds’s best midfielders at once, it seems to be because of a perceived risk inherent in packing the midfield with so many young players at once.

When questioned in the past about the inclusion of Lewis Cook, 17, Milanic suggested you need at least some experience in the centre of the park.

The reality is that the most regularly played figure in the middle has been Tommaso Bianchi, and he has been comfortably the least impressive player of those who have been regularly involved.

Rodolph Austin returned to the team after a period out of it, and playing in the centre of the park as a box to box midfielder, he has shown his worth.

The dynamic Jamaican international is undoubtedly not a droppable player at this point, offering a drive that no one else in the midfield does.

Alex Mowatt, 19, has also shown an ability to carry the ball since recovering from his early season injury and then surprise exclusion under Dave Hockaday, something he never really showed last season.

Mowatt is, however, most impressive because of his range of passing, something that allows him to create chance after chance for Leeds’s preferred front two of Mirco Antenucci and Souleyman Doukara.

Cook, who burst onto the scene at the start of the season, was exceptional under Redfearn, and didn’t deserve to be somewhat dropped by Milanic.

Milanic also hasn’t used him in his best position, preferring to play Bianchi in defensive midfield, and there’s no doubt that he is missing a trick here – Cook can anchor the diamond far better than Bianchi, while also linking well with the likes of Mowatt and Austin.

Adryan, 20, has played well in his game and a quarter for the first team, and given his display against Norwich, he deserves another few games to impress further.

This leaves Bianchi as the odd man out, and given that he has failed to do anything particularly significant while playing for the first team and the other midfielders have all impressed regularly in various groupings, it seems like it would be sensible to give the untested combination of Cook, Mowatt, Austin and Adryan a go against Wolves.

It is now up for Milanic to take that particular risk, backing youth in his search for a first win in charge of the Whites.