Leeds United have just announced that they have taken advantage of their Premier League promotion status by accepting the EFL’s invitation for them to field their Category 1 in next season’s EFL Trophy competition.
This is something which wouldn’t have been a viable option for the Whites under the previous ownership model run by Massimo Cellino. The madcap Italian had run roughshod over the youth set-ups at Elland Road as he looked to cut haemorrhaging losses from the club after the financial catastrophe left by GFH Capital.
Current owner Andrea Radrizzani pledged that he would restock and reinvigorate the youth set-ups at Elland Road and the Italian has stuck to that promise. Such has been the effectiveness of what measures have been taken that the Whites youngsters have, in recent seasons, won the Professional Development League national title.
This rise in prominence of the Under-23s, coupled with the promotion of the club’s academy to Category 1 status, will give Leeds United the opportunity to field their highly-rated youngsters in the EFL Trophy with the possibility of a Wembley final the carrot in front of their nose.
Leeds United have spent this transfer window adding to the stock of youngsters that the Whites have at the club already. Players such as the highly-rated Joe Gelhardt and Charlie Allen have been brought to Elland Road.
The Whites are also said to be readying to bring Fulham’s England Under-18 right-back Cody Drameh to the club. This would add to the depth of talent the Whites have at their disposal and having them play against League One and Two first-team outfits would give them the exposure that brings them on as players.