COMMENT By Will Butcher
Madger Gomes’ move to Leeds from Liverpool earlier this summer was supposedly a transfer that was supposed to see the youngster feature mainly for the Whites’ reserve side.
Leeds confirmed on their official website that the 20-year-old had signed a three-year deal with the club back in June after being released from Premier League side Liverpool.
The report stated that the three-time Spain Under-18 international would begin his Elland Road stint in the Under-23 side, before progressing into the first team.
However, his performances during Leeds’ tour of Austria will have given head coach Thomas Christiansen plenty of food for thought, and should see him break into the first team.
His energetic displays against the likes of Borussia Monchengladbach, Eibar and North Ferriby have caught the eye, and that could see him make the step up to the first team sooner rather than later.
His presence in the first team would cause unrest, though. With four midfielders already vying for a place at the base of Christiansen’s 4-2-3-1 system, Gomes would have to replace one of those, rather than rivalling Liam Bridcutt, Kalvin Phillips, Ronaldo Vieira and Eunan O’Kane.
That could spell the end of Ireland international O’Kane’s career at Leeds, after a difficult first season with the Whites that saw him struggle with multiple injuries.
O’Kane, 27, managed just 26 first-team appearances in all competitions and failed to catch the eye during that time.
Suffering with multiple muscle problems in his groin and calf, the former Bournemouth midfielder now has just one more season left on his current contract.
That could see Christiansen offload the box-to-box midfielder in order to avoid losing him on a free next summer, and replace him with youngster Gomes in the first team.
Offloading O’Kane now for a transfer fee would see Leeds bring in cash that can allow them to improve other areas of the squad, with a new centre-back and left-back needed.
Gomes’ potential has continued to increase in the white of Leeds and he would be a more than a viable midfield option next season, giving Christiansen the green light to cash in on O’Kane.
In other Leeds news, the Whites have reportedly tabled an offer for this 28-year-old defender.