Late last night, tweets started bubbling across Twitter (below) that Leeds United were promoting Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown to the first team for today’s game against Middlesbrough at The Riverside.
— Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) February 9, 2019
It’s been a season of unsettled frustrations for Leeds United fans, frustrations where often sparkling football has been tinged with a growing injury list. Hopefully that list will right itself as the club begin to embark on an important run-in to the season’s end.
Already the signs are looking more encouraging with the likes of Barry Douglas back in contention and Patrick Bamford making a scoring return for the second time when grabbing that consolation goal against Norwich.
However, trumping that will be the genuine excitement that will be rippling amongst Leeds United fans at the prospect of Brown featuring and playing against Boro in this afternoon’s early kick-off on Teesside.
The Chelsea young star has been on loan at Elland Road since the last throes of the summer transfer window. He was signed injured, with Leeds United playing a key part in his recuperation and rehabilitation.
That rehabilitation has seen him nursed back to fitness and back into football via the Under-23s and Professional Development League. Brown has come into his own, scoring regularly over his recent games and, more importantly, not suffering any reaction.
He’s also scored five goals in his last seven outings for the Under-23s. It’s this form that has propelled the Chelsea youngster into first-team reckoning at Elland Road after regaining his fitness.
The Whites have stuttered somewhat in front of goal of late, the goals drying up as their form has begun to drop off. Brown is tried and tested in this league, evidence of this coming through from his time on loan at both Rotherham and Huddersfield Town.
His promotion to the first-team set-up at Elland Road has already been welcomed by Whites fans, these fans seeing the news as both a boost to fortune and prayers answered.
However, Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Phil Hay does add a cautionary warning to fans wanting him to become a permanent fixture at Elland Road.
he’s got a long deal there (on a high wage) and there was no option to buy in the loan. A possibility if Leeds go up and he does well.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 9, 2019
Chelsea are always savvy when it comes to protecting their interests in young players at the club. As Hay points out, this ‘protection’ often comes in terms of long deals and high wages.
This is often enough to protect their charges from predatory sides who can offer the allure of regular first-team football. It is also like an insurance policy should they sparkle whilst out on one of their many loans – think Tammy Abraham at Bristol City and Aston Villa.
So, whilst today’s involvement may be something to cheer for Whites fans, the long-term prospects regarding Izzy Brown and Leeds United might not be so rosy in hue.