‘Perfect time to come to Leeds United’ says Arsenal’s Sam Greenwood

NEW Leeds United signing Sam Greenwood has revealed that the pathway for young players to rapidly progress to first-team level convinced him to head to Elland Road.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has recruited young talent at Elland Road.

Greenwood’s arrival has added to the club’s roster of emerging signings, with the club now working towards the completion of marquee deals to bring Spanish international striker Rodrigo and Freiburg defender Robin Koch to Elland Road.

Leeds are close to wrapping up a club-record £27m deal to bring in Valencia forward Rodrigo. The fee will rise with significant add-ons.

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The deal to bring in Koch is reportedly worth £13m and if all goes well, he could undergo a medical this weekend.

Teenage forward Greenwood, 18, has joined United from Arsenal for an undisclosed fee, having impressed for the Gunners age group sides and at international level.

Greenwood has been capped for England at youth level and scored 12 goals in 14 games for the Under-17s, with whom he also played at the 2019 European Championships.

The north-easterner caught the eye at Under-18 level at Arsenal last term and also featured five times for the Gunners in the Premier League 2 at Under-23 level.

Greenwood will initially link up with the Under-23s and becomes the latest young player to join the club following the arrivals of Charlie Allen, Cody Drameh, Joe Gelhardt and Dani van den Heuvel.

On his move, Greenwood, who has signed a three-year deal until the summer of 2023, said: “I cannot wait to get started. It is such a big club and it is exciting times for the club.

“For me, it seems like it has such a good pathway for young players to come through. It is such an exciting manager and the fans are special.

“I look up to players like Kalvin Phillips all the time – he has broken into the England squad and it is a very proud moment for him and I am sure he will be over the moon with that and something I would love to do in the future,” he said.

“Arsenal is a great club and I have met some great people along the way, but for me in my career, it is perfect time to come to Leeds and kick on now.

“My target is to hopefully try and make a breakthrough and hopefully make a name for myself among the Leeds fans and kick on.”

The move sees Greenwood – who started his youth career with Sunderland before joining Arsenal in 2018 – head back up north and that was another positive factor for the striker.

He added: “I started at Sunderland and got the move to Arsenal. Now I have come here, I feel like I relate to these people. Obviously, Sunderland is a working-class area similar to Leeds and I think I will fit in at this kind of environment perfectly.”

On what Leeds fans can expect, he continued: “I am a striker who is both footed and like to make runs in behind and like to run at defenders and find half a yard and get my shots off.”

Meanwhile, Sheffield United midfielder Luke Freeman has sealed his move to Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan.

The former QPR player, who joined the Baldes for £5m last summer, is Forest’s fifth signing of the close season.

Freeman made 16 appearances for the club last term, including three Premier League starts.

Huddersfield Town are poised to bolster their goalkeeping ranks by bringing in Manchester United custodian Joel Pereira on a season-long loan.

The Portugeuse keeper is down the pecking order at Old Trafford and is out of contract at the end of the 2020-21 season.

The 24-year-old, who has played just twice for the Red Devils, has spent loan spells in the past two seasons at Vitoria Setubal, Belgian side Kortrijk and Hearts.

Former Town midfielder Aaron Mooy has completed a permanent move to Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG, after leaving Brighton.

The Australian joined the Seagulls on loan from Huddersfield Town last summer before signing a permanent deal on the south coast in January.

Mooy first joined the Terriers on loan from Manchester City and enjoyed a stellar season as Huddersfield were promoted to the Premier League via the play-offs.

He joined Town on a permanent contract prior to their first-ever Premeir League campaign and remained at the John Smith’s Stadium until the club’s relegation in 2019.

Mooy made 32 appearances for Brighton last term, scoring twice and helping the Seagulls secure their highest-ever Premier League points tally.

Mooy made 120 appearances for Huddersfield, scoring 11 goals.

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James Mitchinson