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Why Leeds United should sign former Manchester United defender Tom Thorpe

A player once on the books at Old Trafford would be a great addition to Leeds United's blossoming squad.

Tom Thorpe was regarded as one of the brightest young prospects at Manchester United, a centre-back who could also play as a holding midfielder and who regularly captained the club’s under-21s.

So it came as quite a surprise when the 22-year-old was released this summer, leaving him to search for a new club when he had previously been talked up as a potential future United star.

But while United fans are left to wonder what went wrong for Thorpe – who saw the chances many expected him to take last season instead given to younger players Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair – could Leeds United swoop in and snatch a bargain?

They certainly should do, with Leeds already possessing a number of promising young players and Thorpe perfect for them.

Considering his availability on a free, there are likely to be plenty of clubs interested in his services, but Leeds would be wise to act quickly.

In academy boss Neil Redfearn they have a man who recognises young talent and knows how to develop it effectively, while manager Uwe Rosler could do with another versatile defender whose future could yet be as a holding midfielder.

Thorpe made 75 appearances for United’s under-21 side but only ever got a few minutes of senior action, yet that is no indication of his ability.

Those who have seen Thorpe play know just how good he is and he will be a wonderful signing for whichever club is lucky enough to get him.

Leeds have benefited from taking former United players before, with Scott Wootton enjoying a renaissance at right-back last season, so what chance of Thorpe joining him?

With defensive reinforcements surely a must at Elland Road this summer, it is a move that would make sense for both parties.

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