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Leeds: Massimo Cellino had a shocker on Lewis Cook

Leeds United were once a club who, in the not-too-distant past, had something of a problem in holding on to their most exciting youth prospects, with the academy graduates such as Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor, Jack Clarke and Lewis Cook all departing Elland Road between 2015 and 2019.

And, while the likes of Byram, Clarke and Taylor – playing their football with Norwich City, Sunderland and Burnley respectively – are currently a level below the top flight in the Championship, Cook is very much flourishing with AFC Bournemouth.

Indeed, since Massimo Cellino sanctioned the central midfielder’s £6m departure back in the summer of 2016, Cook has consistently impressed for the Cherries, becoming a stalwart in the heart of the side, as well as earning international recognition from England manager Gareth Southgate.

At the time of his move from LS11 to the South Coast, Sky Sports reporter Tim Thornton revealed just how good of a deal Bournemouth looked to have pulled off for the then-19-year-old, stating in a post on Twitter: “Bournemouth could have bagged themselves the bargain of the summer in Lewis Cook. Big talent who will flourish in the right team.”

And, despite twice suffering a cruciate ligament rupture – both of which saw the midfielder miss 30 games – Thornton’s prediction that Cook would flourish in the right side very much proved on the money, with the 25-year-old going on to make 75 Premier League appearances in his first four seasons at the Vitality Stadium, prior to the club’s relegation in 2020.

However, after dropping down to the second tier, the £8.1m-rated talent once again proved his worth to the Cherries, averaging an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.92 over his 31 Championship appearances in 2020/21, before averaging an equally impressive match rating of 6.90 over 28 league fixtures last season – playing a key role in his side’s promotion.

And, over his ten Premier League appearances so far this season, the £40k-per-week ace has once again proven key in Bournemouth’s incredibly impressive start to the season, averaging a SofaScore match rating of 6.71 for the 10th-placed Cherries.

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Furthermore, the player who Eddie Howe dubbed “hugely impressive” and claimed he has “never seen a player run as much as he has” has also earned one cap for England, playing 20 minutes of the Three Lions’ 1-1 draw with Italy back in 2018.

As such, considering his rise in market valuation, his extremely consistent level of performance in the middle of the park and his tireless nature being something of a perfect fit for Jesse Marsch’s high-intensity pressing system, Cellino’s decision to cash in on Cook very much looks to have been something of a shocker by the Italian.

Article title: Leeds: Massimo Cellino had a shocker on Lewis Cook

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