Football FanCast guest columnist Dean Whyte feels that Bates should tell the likes of Spurs and Villa where to poke their offers for Fabian Delph.
It is fair to say that being a Leeds United fan hasn't been much fun in last 5yrs as the club has been made to pay for years of mismanagement. As well as dropping down the leagues, much to the amusement of neutrals no doubt, we have also seen the cream of our youth academies sold off for a pittance to an array of Premier League sides. It started off with Aaron Lennon's £1m move to Tottenham; I suppose we should have taken the hint there and then that we had money problems.
This Lennon deal in particular was a real sickener, especially when you consider he is worth around twenty times that amount at present. Whoever tipped off Frank Arnesen of our financial plight should be shot, because it wasn't long before he started sniffing around again and poached yet another two in Woods and Taiwo for Chelsea. It is a real shame because at any other club other than Chelsea they could have easily followed Lennon in being a regular Premier League performer. They also tried to take Danny Rose off us too, but while he initially turned them down, it wasn't long before Bates sold him off to Spurs for another measly amount.
What I find incredibly frustrating is that for all of Ken Bates' hot air about what is right and threatening legal action against Chelsea in particular, he still preceded to sell off the best chance we ever had of sustaining a push back to where we belong in the Premier League. Five top quality youngsters, Leeds born and bred who would have given everything for the cause were sold off for a pittance and we have made to do with bringing in dross like Nichols, Kandol and Joachim to name but a few and who cost more than the youngsters that were moved on and who in time will certainly achieve more in the game than they ever have. It's time for Leeds to stop this practice once and for all, and keep our best young players at the club as we have more chance of succeeding with them than without in getting out of this division.
The reason for my concern as you can expect is the fact that according to the Gazette, Spurs have now joined Villa in pursuit of Fabian Delph. Fabian is arguably the cream of anything we have produced in years and it certainly doesn't surprise me that Premier League clubs are sniffing around him. There was a time when £7m would have seen like a saviour for our club but Bates, for all his faults, has turned things around at Elland Rd and we are suddenly on an even keel financially and are in a position to expand, rather than having to sell. Surely the aim of getting into the Championship is the greater priority, rather than cashing in on the one asset who would play a huge part in getting us there.
I know to the neutral I maybe sounding rather selfish in wanting to deprive Delph of Premiership football, but to be honest is he going to get any at Spurs or Villa next season? Surely it is in his best interests for Fabian's development to remain at Leeds and play regular football. Certainly from the club's point of view Delph's value is only going to increase if he continues the progress he showed last, therefore we are not going to lose out financially and we will also retain our star man who could help drive us out of this League. We don't need the money and even if we were to cash in, it will be a thankless task trying to replace him. Ken should stand firm and tell the likes of Spurs and Villa where to poke it, rather than letting the big boys get the upper hand over him again.
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