By support

6th Jul, 2016 | 3:50pm

Leeds will start next season in Premier League if they sign released Everton veteran

COMMENT by Alex Taylor

Leon Osman could drive Leeds to a promotion push after the 35-year-old was released from Everton at the end of this season.

The attacking midfielder had been an integral part of the Toffees squad for 16 years and will now be drawing the curtains on a career at Goodison Park that has seen the academy star make 359 appearances in Blue since his emergence from the Everton academy in 2000.

Osman has never played for another team since his loan move to Derby County 12 years ago and is now preparing to listen to offers, with a move to the Championship a growing possibility.

Leeds boss Gary Monk would be willing to provide Osman with regular starts in the hope his Premier League quality can help the Whites to challenge in the play-off places next season.

Leeds languished in 13th at the culmination of the 2015-16 Championship season and a new manager and new players have been drafted in to help turn the sides fortunes.

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Osman is just the type of player to take the club to the next level.

Having spent the last 16-years in the Premier League and scoring 73 goals along the way the attacking midfielder knows what it takes to win.

The drop in ability level of opposing players should give the forward the time and space he needs to dictate attacks, take players on and score important goals in the Championship next season.

The Premier League pedigree of Osman fused with the free scoring Chris Wood could help to take the burden off the other attacking members of the team after the departure of Mirco Antenucci this summer.  

The feeling at Elland Road is one of frustration and disappointment in recent years as the club have failed to return to a league they once dominated since their relegation in 2004, but hope is around the corner if the former Carlisle United loanee can hit the ground running next season.

In other Everton news, Axel Witsel is set to reject interest from Chelsea and Napoli because he is intent on joining Everton.