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Leeds snap up former Oxford United scout Craig Dean

Will take up the role of Head of Emerging Talent

Leeds United v Everton - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Leeds United have made another addition to the backroom staff.

Craig Dean, who had been Oxford United’s Head Scout, has left the U’s to head to Elland Road where he will serve as Head of Emerging Talent at Leeds United. Dean joined Oxford in 2014.

Dean told the Oxford United official website:

I have really enjoyed my time with Oxford. There have been some fantastic moments including promotion and cup wins and there are a lot of great people behind the scenes who work very hard and who I am sure I will stay friends with. The chance to join Leeds is a very exciting new challenge for me, one I’m looking forward to, but I wish Oxford every success.

In addition to his time at Oxford, Craig Dean has spent time at Newcastle United as a scout, working with many of the current group of young players at the club. Dean’s departure for Leeds from Oxford is yet another link between the two clubs, as Kemar Roofe joined Leeds United from Oxford two summers ago and former Leeds United assistant manager Pep Clotet is currently the manager at the League One side.

Leeds have made youth recruitment a priority under new owner Andrea Radrizzani. Victor Orta, the new Director of Football, has hired a number of new scouts, including raiding his old club Sevilla in La Liga, as well as using his contacts in Spanish football to recruit a number of prospects to Elland Road. The most notable signature this summer was highly-rated prospect Kun Temenuzhkov, who was signed from Barcelona. The Guardian recently named Temenuzhkov as one of the top 60 players in the world born in the year 2000. Leeds was one of three English clubs with a player on the list, the others being Premier League giants Manchester City and Chelsea.

The Academy at Leeds has produced a number of current first team players, and has produced first-team quality players that have been sold on. If Leeds are to achieve promotion to the Premier League and stay in the top-flight, a properly run Academy will be key. Hopefully the addition of Dean helps get Leeds back to the top and stay there.