Why Louie Sibley would be a good long-term signing for Leeds United
According to claims from Football Insider (h/t Leeds Live), Leeds United are plotting a raid on Derby County for highly-rated attacking midfielder Louie Sibley before the domestic deadline on October 16.
However, the Rams are unlikely to let their prized academy asset depart on the cheap and have slapped a daunting £10million valuation on the 19-year-old to ward off interest from the Premier League newcomers. (Football Insider h/t Leeds Live)
Born in Birmingham, Louie Sibley joined Derby County’s youth system at the U-8 level back in 2010 and rose through various age-group ranks at Pride Park before being named the 2017-18 Academy Player of the Year.
He made his senior debut for the Rams in an EFL Cup tie against Scunthorpe United back in August last year and was handed his Championship debut as a late substitute against Reading.
The England U-19 international made a total of 17 appearances in all competitions over the course of an impressive debut season last term, scoring 5 goals and registering 2 assists in the process. Sibley has made a positive start to the 2020-21 campaign as well, featuring 5 times in all competitions for Phillip Cocu’s side.
Leeds could benefit from Sibley’s potential
Louie Sibley has only just started to make waves with his performances in the Championship after making a successful transition from the academy to the senior ranks at Derby County last season. The 19-year-old has shown glimpses of his massive potential in the English second-tier, with the hat-trick against Millwall last season arguably the highlight of his brief career so far.
However, the young attacking midfielder is still very much in the development phase of his career and hardly the finished article capable of making an immediate impact in the Premier League.
The teenager has, of course, has shown that he’s got the potential to make the grade in the top-flight moving forward. But staying in the Championship, for now, should give him a better chance to develop his game with regular game time.
To that end, Leeds United would be better off signing Louie Sibley with one eye on the future rather than looking at him as an immediate game-changer. Hence, the ideal way forward for the Whites would be to sign him up and then loan him back to the Championship.
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Essentially an attacking midfielder by trade, Louie Sibley also has the versatility to operate in box-to-box and wide roles in the midfield. That, coupled with his obvious talent and vast potential, make the Rams graduate a wonderful long-term investment for any Premier League club.
Leeds United have grabbed the headlines on several occasions with their youth recruitment drive over the past couple of years. And signing the 19-year-old ace would hand another significant boost to the Whites’ long-term plans moving forward under Marcelo Bielsa.