Leeds United manager Thomas Christiansen has said that while he has been impressed with Matthew Pennington is is up to the club to decide whether to turn his loan move from Everton into a permanent transfer.
The defensive powerhouse arrived at Elland Road from the Premier League side during the summer window, the 23-year-old signing a season-long deal with the Whites after nine appearances for the Toffees’ senior side.
He has found himself in and out of the Leeds first team during his temporary spell with the club, having turned out 12 out of a possible 28 times in the Championship, including the club’s 4-3 defeat to Millwall in their last match.
However, Christiansen has insisted that the Everton centre back has performed well both on and off the pitch, but states the decision on a transfer capture lies with director of football Victor Orta and his team.
He told Leeds Live: “This is again something that Victor and the club has to speak about but of course I have always spoken well about Pennington.
“Not only the performances that he has done but also on the human side, how professional he is in the training, even when he is not in the first XI, how hard he works for the team and this is a very important player for the squad.”
Pennington’s contract with Everton expires this summer, meaning that the Whites may be able to capture him for a bargain fee.
Football Insider verdict
Pennington has been very much on the fringes of the starting XI this season but it appears as though Christiansen considers his off-the-field approach to be of the top standard. Perhaps the club are waiting to see how the season pans out before committing to a long-term deal for the centre back, and whether Everton want to tie him to a new deal. However, the longer they leave it, the more chance there will be of some rival interest, and that could leave Leeds missing out on his signing come June. If Christiansen wants him, then he needs to be putting the pressure on Orta and the transfer team at Elland Road in order to get a deal over the line.
In other Leeds United news, the manager has confirmed a striker is on the verge of returning.