By Alex Stevens
Lewis Cook’s agent will be advising the young midfielder to find a new club, according to Andy Ritchie.
The 19-year-old midfielder has emerged as a £10million summer target for Premier League clubs after continuing his impressive development this season at Elland Road.
Cook has amassed 38 appearances in all competitions this campaign and has played his way onto the radar of the likes of Manchester United, Everton, Stoke and Bournemouth.
The uncertainty at Leeds, with Steve Evans likely to be the latest manager to be axed by trigger-happy owner Massimo Cellino, is unlikely to persuade the club’s prize assets to stay.
“I have got to say that it does the players no good and does not help them at all,” former Leeds striker Andy Ritchie wrote in his Yorkshire Evening Post column on Friday. “It only adds uncertainly. Their agents will be phoning and telling the players: ‘What the hell is going on?’ and be in their ears all the time – and also saying: ‘you need to get out of the place’ because there’s no stability to produce your best form.
“You could be playing for Steve Evans one week and someone else the next week. That’s what agents will be saying and if I was an agent, I would be saying that as well.
“Can you seriously think that Lewis Cook’s agent will be sitting down with him every week and saying: ‘You have got to stay here, pal.’ I know what he will be saying to him.
“Lewis is a young player making his way in the game and he needs somebody (head coach) to stick with him, so he knows what they want from him.
“He doesn’t need, at this stage of his career, head coaches chopping and changing and different people saying: ‘I want you to do it this way’ when the next week, someone could be saying something totally different.”
Currently away on international duty with the England Under-19s, Cook has played a starring role in Leeds’ recent move away from a relegation fight in the Championship.
Cook played the entire 90 minutes of England’s 2-1 victory over Georgia on Thursday despite Evans’ request to the international side not to overplay him.