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Opinion: Leeds must sign this 21-year-old League One ace as a replacement for on-loan White

Why Leeds United should plot a summer swoop for Luke Woolfenden

According to TWTD (h/t Leeds Live), Leeds United are interested in signing Ipswich Town centre-back Luke Woolfenden this summer.

Luke Woolfenden, 21, has been one of Ipswich Town’s top performers this season and has caught the eye of a number of sides from higher divisions, most notably Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Queens Park Rangers, the report adds. (h/t Leeds Live)

The 21-year-old, who has played 31 times in Football League One this term, is contracted to Ipswich Town until the summer of 2022, with the club having an option for one-year extension.

Luke Woolfenden of Ipswich Town is challenged by Anthony Hartigan of AFC Wimbledon during the Sky Bet League One match between AFC Wimbledon and Ipswich Town. (Getty Images)
Luke Woolfenden of Ipswich Town is challenged by Anthony Hartigan of AFC Wimbledon during the Sky Bet League One match between AFC Wimbledon and Ipswich Town. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Leeds United are gunning for top-flight promotion this season. They were on a fantastic run of five successive Championship victories without conceding a goal before the EFL announced last week that all Championship action was to be suspended until April 3 at the very earliest amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

But should the season resume in a little under three weeks’ time, the Whites are in pole position to gain automatic promotion as they comfortably sit at the top of the Championship table. Keeping that in mind, manager Marcelo Bielsa must start preparing for the next season and draw out his potential list of summer transfer targets.

One of Leeds’ standout performers this campaign has been defender Ben White. The 22-year-old signed on a season-long loan deal from Brighton and has mightily impressed for Leeds. The youngster has been a rock at the back and has impressed Marcelo Bielsa, largely playing a key role in the Whites’ hunt for promotion.

Leeds United players celebrate after a goal. (Getty Images)
Leeds United players celebrate after a goal. (Getty Images)

Winning the Championship’s PFA Player of the Month for August, White has gone from strength and strength, but he’ll return to Brighton at the end of the season as far as his contractual terms are concerned. Having said that, Bielsa should start looking out for the 22-year-old’s replacement.

Well, Luke Woolfenden could be a good replacement for White. Despite Ipswich’s struggles of late in League One, Woolfenden has produced consistent displays at the heart of Paul Lambert’s defence. He has made 36 appearances across all competitions, registering a goal and two assists.

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Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa on the touchline. (Getty Images)
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa on the touchline. (Getty Images)

Verdict

Interest from a number of higher division clubs speaks volumes about the youngster’s quality and how highly he is regarded after what has been a breakthrough season. He is a promising young defender who can operate as a central defender and as a right-back.

All in all, a move to Leeds could be tempting for Woolfenden, especially if they’re to win promotion to the Premier League this season.

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