Gradel would be a top signing for Leeds admits McCormack

LEEDS United top scorer Ross McCormack says he would welcome the return of Max Gradel to Elland Road – but believes manager Brian McDermott would need to revise his formation if Gradel signs for the club in January.

Leeds manager Brian McDermott.

McCormack described Gradel as a “good guy” and “a talent” as he considered the implications of a proposed deal to bring the 26-year-old back to Leeds in the forthcoming transfer window.

United have approached St Etienne about Gradel’s availability and the possibility of re-signing a player they sold for close to £2m in 2011, and McDermott confirmed yesterday that Gradel “would be on a list of players we like.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

McCormack is one of the few squad members at Leeds who worked with Gradel during his 18 months as a United player, and he witnessed the run of form which saw the Ivory Coast international score 18 times in the 2010-11 season and win the club’s player of the year award.

Leeds are devoid of out-and-out wingers and have been throughout McDermott’s time as manager but he has compensated for that shortage by adopting a highly-effective 3-5-2 formation for the past nine games.

United have climbed to sixth place in the Championship and appear ready to invest in their squad in January with a takeover of the club close to completion.

McCormack said: “Max is a good guy. The formation at the moment might have to change to accommodate him but that’s what you do with good players. You get them in the team and you deal with that.

“It’s well documented that we haven’t got any wingers and the formation at the minute doesn’t need wingers. But it would be nice to have a way of changing things if we’re in a game and nothing’s going for us.

“With players like Max you put them in the team and build around them. He was a talent when he was here and one of those players who runs at defenders and causes them problems. He made his own luck by working hard.

“When he was here last time he was one of the main men in terms of how the lads got on with him. But what happens is up to the gaffer.”

• Keep abreast of news from your club, plus complete live match data and stats, with our new FREE apps. Versions for iPhone and Android.