The acrimonious nature of Charlie Taylor’s departure from Leeds United, summed up when he refused to play against Wigan Athletic in the final day of last season, meant few supporters shed a tear when he finally completed a protracted move to Burnley.
Yet, although the versatile Gaetano Berardi stepped up and performed impressively when Taylor was absent through injury in the second half of last season, the 23-year-old was still one of the most naturally talented players in Leeds’ squad, even if the fans may be unwilling to admit it.
An energetic attacker blessed with a quality left-foot, Taylor’s exit still leaves a void in Leeds’ squad.
Taylor came through the ranks at Leeds
Though there’s few better to fill it than Joe Bryan. HITC sources are telling us that Leeds have identified the Bristol City left-back as a readymade replacement for the homegrown Taylor.
And it’s difficult to disagree with that assumption. At 23, Bryan is the same age as the player he could replace in Leeds’ squad and there’s little to choose between the two attack-minded left-backs at either end of the pitch.
Bryan is not only a solid one-on-one defender with strength in the tackle and impressive positional sense, he is also a threat going forward and capable of thriving in a left-wing back role. In short, he’d give new Leeds manager Thomas Christiansen the option of switching from a back four to a three.
Furthermore, though he produced just two assists in 2016/17, Bryan set up eight goals the season before and his ability to pick out runners inside the penalty area will certainly be well received by Chris Wood and co.
Bryan has spent his entire career with The Robins
HITC sources are telling us that Hull City and Middlesbrough, two sides who will hope to challenge Leeds for promotion next season, are also in the race. However, Leeds are in need of a new left-back and few would argue that Bryan is not the man for the job.