Transfer talk: interest grows in Leeds’ Drameh

LEEDS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Cody Drameh of Leeds United runs with the ball during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Leeds United and Barnsley at Elland Road on August 24, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Newcastle United are the newest addition to a host of clubs reportedly interested in signing Leeds United’s right-back Cody Drameh in the January transfer window.

Since signing for the Whites from Fulham in 2020, Drameh has struggled to break into the squad at Elland Road. As things stand, Drameh currently sits third-choice in his favoured position, behind regular starter Rasmus Kristensen and his back-up Luke Ayling.

The youngster has only had made two starting appearances for Leeds’ senior squad this season, in a 3-1 victory over Barnsley in the EFL Cup and a 5-2 defeat at Brentford. Since featuring in the starting XI who found themselves humiliated in London, Drameh hasn’t been part of Marsch’s match-day squad for any fixture.

Newcastle’s interest in Drameh was first suggested in a report released by The Daily Mail last Friday, which stated that he was also attracting the attention of German club Borussia Dortmund.

These reports have since been corroborated by Fabrizio Romano who wrote in a recent tweet that Drameh was “attracting interest as many clubs are keen on signing him in January from Leeds” (17:40, Nov 14). Alongside Newcastle and Dortmund, Romano stated that Lille and Bayer Leverkusen are also keen on the Leeds man, who they view “as talent for the future”.

Drameh has been open about his lack of playing opportunities at the Yorkshire club in the past, a situation which resulted in the Whites loaning him to Championship side Cardiff City last January under the watch of previous head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

He enjoyed a fruitful period of football when in Wales, making 22 appearances, making three assists and winning the Player of the Year award for the Bluebirds.

A period of speculation ahead

It’s difficult to be overly critical of Drameh for expressing a desire for more playing time in the past as considering his age it is match experience which is most crucial in his development as a footballer. Considering that Leeds signed another right-back in the summer transfer window in the form of Kristensen, it seems unlikely that Marsch is factoring the twenty-year-old highly in his current plans.

Whites fans must remember, however, that second-choice right-back Ayling is thirty-one and – with his contract due to expire next year – his future at the club is uncertain. The calibre of club interested in signing Drameh in the January window is clear indication of his potential ability.

For a club whose transfer strategy centres on acquiring young talent, perhaps it would be wise for Leeds to entice Drameh to remain in Yorkshire a while longer. Either he becomes Kristensen’s understudy and – potentially – eventually replaces the Dane, or he rises significantly in value making the club significantly more money upon his sale.

Leeds must ensure that, where both scenarios are considered, Drameh doesn’t become the one which got away.

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