Leeds United legend Eddie Gray has suggested in the Yorkshire Evening Post that the club have to reject the advances of any club looking to poach their best young players this summer.
Leeds have arguably the best academy system in the United Kingdom, with several young players having progressed into the first team under current manager Neil Redfearn.
Gray believes they are vital to the future development of the club, looking ahead to the side’s promotion chances for next season.
“Money talks, but hopefully we can hold on to the young players we’ve got as I think that’s going to be vital,” wrote Gray.
“Football is a strange game and you can never tell but I would think the club would tie up the players. The young boys have got big futures ahead of them.”
The Daily Star was among the sources to report last month that Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool were all being linked with moves for young midfielder Lewis Cook in a perfect example of what Gray seems to be getting at.
Leeds can’t do anything about teams coming in with big money offers for their best layers, but what they can do is stress to the youngsters the things that work in their advantage.
Redfearn has offered, and will continue to offer, them a chance to perform in the first team of a massive English club, with more appearances than they’re likely to receive at a Premier League giant.
While the contracts and money they could earn in the league above them would also be greater, the boss can also stress the benefits of the relationship they have built up with supporters.
All in all, there’s a very good chance that even if a Premier League giant makes a big offer, the Leeds youngsters won’t listen.