Star-spangled striker ready to challenge for place in Leeds attack

Simon Grayson awaits work permit for Rogers.
Simon Grayson awaits work permit for Rogers.
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LEEDS UNITED manager Simon Grayson plans to throw USA international Robbie Rogers straight into Championship action once his work permit is granted.

The 24-year-old, who made 106 appearances in a four-year spell with MLS side Columbus Crew, has been on trial at Elland Road in recent weeks after being spotted by Grayson.

Rogers will not face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday but, providing a work permit is secured, he is likely to be involved against either Ipswich Town or Birmingham City before the end of this month.

Grayson said: “We are delighted to have agreed a deal with Robbie. He has been training with us and he came to (the FA Cup game at) Arsenal to get a feel of the group.

“He has been playing in the MLS where he has done well, he wants to continue his career in Europe, and we believe he will make an impact here.

“As soon as the work permit business is complete, he will be an immediate part of our plans and have an opportunity with the first team.”

Leeds are keen to make further signings before the window closes with Blackburn Rovers midfielder Keith Andrews still very much on the club’s radar.

The Yorkshire club tried to snap up Andrews last summer but he instead chose Ipswich Town. However, after his loan spell at Portman Road came to an end, Andrews returned to Blackburn and is keen to leave Ewood Park in search of first-team football.

Republic of Ireland international Sean St Ledger, who is also interesting Ipswich, is another defender who is interesting United, though it is understood Grayson has several other potential targets at centre-half in mind along with the Leicester City man.

Securing a right-back is also on the Leeds manager’s wish list, Liverpool’s Martin Kelly being seen as an ideal addition to fill a position that has seen Paul Connolly, Tom Lees and Zac Thompson selected at various stages of this season.