Leeds United made a habit of signing young players during the previous transfer window in order to build up the Academy and plan for the future of the club, as previously Leeds had sold or lost young stars such as Sam Byram, Lewis Cook, and Charlie Taylor to contract disputes or big money transfers to other clubs. Leeds also made a few loan moves for young Premier League defenders, and while the loan move for Cameron Borthwick-Jackson from Manchester United hasn’t worked the way that Leeds would have hoped, the other high profile loanee at the club, Matthew Pennington, has shown some flashes of brilliance in his limited appearances.
Apparently Pennington has shown enough talent to raise the possibility of Leeds making a permanent move for the young Everton defender. Everton already has a couple of first-choice centre backs, and at this point it appears that Pennington would be, at best, the 4th or 5th choice central defender at the club. In speaking with some members of SB Nation’s Everton blog, Royal Blue Mersey, they said that a permanent move away for Pennington wouldn’t come as a shock, as new manager Sam Allardyce is looking to make some changes at the Merseyside club, and might view the young defender as surplus to requirements or simply want to reduce the number of players on the books at the club in order to bring in some new players. They also weren’t sure that Pennington would be ready for Premier League competition anytime soon, and so perhaps a permanent move to a Championship club would be a more suitable level for the young player.
Pennington signed a new contract at Everton in April and is tied down there until 2019. Much depends on whether he fits under Allardyce.— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) December 22, 2017
A permanent move for Pennington would be good business, even if the young defender isn’t necessarily going to be a full-time starter anytime soon. Pennington has shown flashes of brilliance this season, after having a dream start for the club against Bolton marred by an injury that kept him out of a long stretch of the first few months of the season.
Leeds have been linked with a move for a young Sporting Clube de Portugal centreback, and have also Conor Shaughnessy on the books already. Snapping up Pennington would be a good bit of business, if done for a reasonable fee, as it would mean additional investment in youth at the club.