Why Sean McGurk would be a good long-term signing for Leeds United
The Whites had a bid turned down by the Latics for the 17-year-old attacking midfielder but they are planning to test the League One club’s resolve with an improved offer during the mid-season window. McGurk is yet to make his professional debut for Wigan but has earned rave reviews for his development at the U-18 level.
Leeds United grabbed the headlines on several occasions with deals for Rodrigo Moreno, Robin Koch, Diego Llorente, and Raphinha during the summer. Besides investing heavily to improve Marcelo Bielsa’s first-team following the club’s return to the Premier League after 16 long years, the Whites also made some handy acquisitions to bolster their ranks at the youth and reserve level.
Leeds successfully got their hands on highly-rated Wigan prospect Joe Gelhardt. The centre-forward is yet to make the step up to Bielsa’s first-team but has enjoyed a strong start for the U-23s in the Premier League 2 Division 2.
The West Yorkshire giants also roped in defender Cody Drameh from Fulham and attacking midfielder Crysensio Summerville as a part of their youth recruitment drive in the summer. While Drameh has quickly established himself as a regular for Leeds’ development side, the latter recently caught the eye for the U-21s in the Football League Trophy.
While Leeds should look to make further additions to bolster their first-team ranks in the winter market, they also need to be alert to market opportunities to bring in young players with one eye on the future. Sean McGurk might not fit the bill as an immediate game-changer in the Premier League but he would definitely be a good long-term signing for the Whites.
The 17-year-old is yet to make the transition from the academy to the senior ranks at Wigan but has caught the eye across various underage levels, most notably in the club’s FA Youth Cup campaign.
McGurk still has several stages to go in his development curve before he evolves into a finished article. But Leeds would be better off moving for him now than paying a hefty amount for his services in the future.
Leeds have put a lot of emphasis on scouring the continent for bright up and coming talents over the past 18 months. Promising starlets like Mateusz Bogusz, Ryan Edmondson, Jordan Stevens, Leif Davis and several others have come through the door at Elland Road as a part of the club’s long-term plans under the stewardship of Bielsa and head of recruitment Victor Orta.
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With that in mind, a potential deal for Sean McGurk in January would represent a continuation of the same policy. There are no guarantees that the Wigan sensation would be able to make the grade in the Premier League despite all his talent and potential.
However, he’s still only 17 and has less than a year remaining on his current contract, thus making the teenager worth a low-cost gamble for Leeds United.