After finally getting their man earlier in the summer, Leeds United have opted to take the patient approach with Cody Drameh.
The 19-year-old arrived from Championship side Fulham, and has spent his time in Yorkshire with the U23s, where he’s only missed one game at Premier League 2 level.
He’s yet to be seen with the senior side however, and that’s something Marcelo Bielsa may look to change heading into 2020.
According to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, when Leeds scouted Drameh whilst he was at Craven Cottage, they saw shades of Luke Ayling in him. It was also suggested that the teenager saw a “clearer” route to the senior set-up at Elland Road than he did at Fulham.
Hay wrote: “Leeds are understood to have paid in the region of £300,000 for Drameh, a fee which could rise to £1 million with add-ons, last week.
“Fulham are fresh from promotion themselves and will play in the Premier League with Leeds this season but sources close to Drameh say the England Under-18 international saw a clearer first-team pathway in West Yorkshire than in west London. The deal was done despite Fulham’s reluctance to sell and after Manchester City showed some late interest.”
Drameh’s potential is there for all to see, with Eredivisie scout Xander Wilkinson going on record to hail his abilities. He said: “Defensively so impressive! His mind works quicker than most right backs I’ve seen in a naturally defensive mindset. Tactically very aware of what is being asked of him, times his engagements well, needs to add a little more unpredictability going forward.”
The starlet may not be ready to start in the Premier League right now, but he could learn a lot by potentially being given opportunities in the FA Cup and then some minutes here and there in the top-flight.
Exposing him to first-team football will be the real test of whether Drameh will sink or swim, and the young right-back could surprise everybody and take to it like a duck to water. Only time will tell.