Two years ago, on November 15, 2018, 17-year-old defender Oliver Casey signed his first professional deal with Leeds United. That deal runs out at the end of this month; there has been no word whatsoever on any new deal being offered the rated, teen defender.
He signed as a stand-out player in the Under-18 that won the Professional Development League North title during the previous campaign. Upon signing his professional deal, the article on the Leeds website said that he would be looking to follow in the footsteps of other youngsters who had “broken into the first-team fold from the Academy.”
Those words proved true with the now-Under-23 player turning out from the bench for the Whites from bench in the 2-0 win away at Huddersfield Town in early December. Since that debut, Casey has appeared on the bench 10 more times, the last being the 2-0 victory at Elland Road – the last game before lockdown.
Such is his promise that there has been a lot of noise in Leeds United media circles urging the club to extend his deal. For example, in speaking to Football Insider, former Whites striker Noel Whelan said: “It depends how much the club wants him. He’s a young player with a lot of potential, and when you have that at a football club, it’s important because it’s an investment for the future.”
That future, at the moment, seems somewhat uncertain. Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown can account for some of that but there hasn’t even been a wink of a hint that the club will be making a move to tie Casey down to a longer deal.
Is that what they should do, tie the youngster down to a longer deal? Yes, like Whelan mentions above, players such as Oliver Casey are an investment for the future. Paying relative pennies now will lead to relative pounds in the future.
If/When Leeds United get promoted to the Premier League, Oliver Casey would not get a game and it is unlikely that he’d see a Premier League bench. However, what he would be able to see would be a loan back down to the Championship or even a promotion favourite League One side.
Doing this would allow him to get some proper game time under his belt. It would allow him to develop as a player. It would add £ onto his value. I am sorry, but whichever way that you look at Leeds United not rewarding Oliver Casey with a new deal, it has ‘error’ and ‘mistake’ written all over it.
No, not really.